Ever since Microsoft decided to join hands with OpenAI, Google has been directing all its focus on AI development. In a recent move, the tech giant consolidated its AI research wings.
The announcement came directly from the company today, announcing that it’s consolidating the DeepMind and Google Brain team from Google Research into one single unit named Google DeepMind.
Combining all this talent into one focused team, backed by the computational resources of Google, will significantly accelerate our progress in AISundar Pichai, Google CEO
Google is also planning to appoint a new scientific board to preside over Google DeepMind and look after its progress. As of now, Koray Kavukcuoglu, VP of research at DeepMind, has been appointed to lead the board. While Eli Collins, VP of product at Google Research, will join the board as VP of the product.
Also, Google Brain lead Zoubin Ghahramani is expected to work under Koray Kavukcuoglu as a member of the Google DeepMind research leadership team. For the role of the chief scientist, Jeff Dean, co-founder of Google Brain, has been appointed. He’ll be looking after both Google DeepMind and Google Research.
However, it’s important to note that despite the new additions to the board, this new collaboration will not affect Google Research. It’ll continue to exist as an independent body.
While Google DeepMind will completely focus on AI, Google Research will continue with its developmental work in computer science areas such as algorithms, privacy, security, quantum computing, etc.
It can be a little confusing for the teams and employees to understand how these changes will affect their work. That’s why Google plans to hold a town hall meeting very soon to explain how these new units will affect the existing teams. Also, the members of the scientific board will be finalized during that meeting.
What’s Google Working On?
If Google is making such a huge move to merge two of its most prominent units, it’s no doubt that some big plans are on the way.
Reports such that Google Brain software engineers and DeepMind experts are together working on a new generative AI software named Gemini. If the project works out as planned, it’s expected to compete directly with OpenAI.
This new merger will not only benefit Google financially but can also finally put off the internal struggle between the two teams.
A lot of users might not know that DeepMind wasn’t founded by Google. It was co-founded by Shane Legg, Hassabis, and Mustafa Suleyman and later acquired in 2014 for $500 million for research purposes.
Together the two parties have collaborated in several revolutionizing projects such as AlphaGo, AlphaFold, WaveNet, TensorFlow, etc.
However, despite being an important contributor to Google and Alphabet’s success, DeepMind struggled to cover its growing expenses. There was also a considerable amount of power struggle with DeepMind trying to gain more control.
However, ever since Google felt threatened by Microsoft, DeepMind’s importance grew exponentially, considering its unit is the only one that can help Google achieve its AI goals. However, things are expected to improve with this merger.
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