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Google merges DeepMind, brain research units as AI race hots up

The change folds the Brain team from Google Research and Alphabet's DeepMind into one team, Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said in a blog post

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Photo: Bloomberg

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Alphabet’s Google has consolidated its artificial intelligence (AI) research groups into one unit, the company’s latest move to keep from falling behind in the AI race.

The change folds the Brain team from Google Research and Alphabet’s DeepMind into one team, Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said in a blog post. 

“Combining all this talent into one focused team, backed by the computational resources of Google, will significantly accelerate our progress in AI,” Pichai said. 

Demis Hassabis will lead the group as CEO of DeepMind.

Jeff Dean, the executive who had been leading Google’s AI and research efforts, will move out of management as part of the reorganisation, according to two sources. In his new role as Google’s chief scientist, Dean will be working with both Google Research and DeepMind to develop new, more capable AI systems. Now, Google’s reorganisation appears to consolidate that research work under one umbrella, Google DeepMind, signaling tighter integration with the rest of Alphabet. In February, the company announced that starting this year, DeepMind would be included in Alphabet’s corporate costs to reflect how the technology is being incorporated into other businesses — rather than as part of the “Other Bets” category of investments with less immediate impact, Alphabet said.

James Manyika, Google’s senior vice president of technology and society, will take over as head of Google Research. The unit is meant to continue its work on areas like privacy and security, quantum computing, health, climate and responsible AI. 

Bard to write codes

Google said on Friday it will update Bard, its generative AI chatbot, to help people write code to develop software.

Combining all this talent into one focused team, backed by the computational resources of Google, will significantly accelerate our progress in AI

— Sundar Pichai, Google CEO

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First Published: Apr 21 2023 | 10:29 PM IST

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