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Google’s big AI push will combine Brain and DeepMind into one team

Google’s big AI push will combine Brain and DeepMind into one team


Called Google DeepMind, the new group is led by DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis, as former AI lead Jeff Dean steps into the role of chief scientist.

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An illustration from DeepMind.
Image: Google

DeepMind, the artificial intelligence company acquired by Alphabet in 2014, is merging with Google’s Brain team to form Google DeepMind. In a post shared by Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, he says the combined groups will “significantly accelerate our progress in AI.”

DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis will serve as the CEO of Google DeepMind, where Pichai says he will “lead the development of our most capable and responsible general AI systems.” Meanwhile, Jeff Dean, Google’s former senior vice president of Google Research and Health who co-founded the Brain team, will take on the role of Google Research and Google DeepMind’s chief scientist.

“Together, in close collaboration with our fantastic colleagues across the Google Product Areas, we have a real opportunity to deliver AI research and products that dramatically improve the lives of billions of people, transform industries, advance science, and serve diverse communities,” Hassabis writes in a memo to employees. “By creating Google DeepMind, I believe we can get to that future faster. Building ever more capable and general AI, safely and responsibly, demands that we solve some of the hardest scientific and engineering challenges of our time.”

DeepMind and Google have butted heads in the past. In 2021, DeepMind reportedly lost its yearslong bid to gain more independence from Google as the tech giant began pushing DeepMind toward commercializing its work. However, as Google dives further into the AI industry, it likely wants to combine its research teams to bolster its efforts.

In March, Google opened early access to its ChatGPT and Bing Chat rival, Bard. It’s pretty weird and often didn’t fare as well as its competitors in tests we ran shortly after it launched. Although Pichai has promised that upgrades are on the way, Google employees reportedly criticized the product ahead of launch and urged leadership not to release it.