Google’s parent Alphabet is combining its two artificial intelligence (AI) units as the global AI race intensifies.
In a blog post, Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai revealed that the company is creating a new unit, called Google DeepMind.
The newly formed division will combine DeepMind, which Alphabet purchased in 2014, and the Brain team from Google Research.
Google DeepMind is aimed at the “bold and responsible development of general AI” to help the US technology giant develop more advanced systems.
“Combining all this talent into one focused team, backed by the computational resources of Google, will significantly accelerate our progress in AI,” Pichai said in the blog post.
In the past decade, these teams have worked on notable AI projects such as AlphaGo, transformers, word2vec, WaveNet, AlphaFold, sequence-to-sequence models, distillation, deep reinforcement learning, and advanced systems and software frameworks like TensorFlow and JAX.
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DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis has been named the CEO of Google DeepMind to lead the development of the company’s AI system that will power its future products and services.
Jeff Dean will serve as the organisation’s head scientist for both Google Research and Google DeepMind.
The Brain team was co-founded by Dean, who also served as Google’s former senior vice president of Google Research and Health.
The announcement comes after Google’s AI chatbot Bard failed to garner the same attention as Microsoft-backed OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which was launched in November 2022.
Earlier this month, in an interview with the New York Times, Pichai said that the lukewarm reception Bard did not surprise him.
“In some ways, I feel like we took a souped-up Civic, [and] kind of put it in a race with more powerful cars,” Pichai said, adding: “but we are going to be training fast. We clearly have more capable models. Pretty soon, maybe as this goes live, we will be upgrading Bard to some of our more capable PaLM models, which will bring more capabilities.”