Google to accelerate AI efforts with newly combined team

Hey Google sign at CES 2018
(Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai has announced a new AI team dubbed Google DeepMind.
  • The new team combines Google's Brain and DeepMind teams, which previously operated separately.
  • The newly combined team is announced amid a push for AI as ChatGPT gains popularity.

Google is taking a big step to accelerate its push for AI. Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai announced on Thursday that two of Google's AI teams are joining forces to create a new team dubbed "Google DeepMind."

The new group is a combination of Google Research's Brain team and Alphabet's AI subsidiary, DeepMind, which it acquired in 2014. While these two groups have previously worked separately, Pichai remarks that bringing them together under one team "will significantly accelerate our progress in AI."

Demis Hassabis, CEO of DeepMind, will serve as CEO of the new Google DeepMind group, where he will "help power the next generation of our products and services."

"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," Hassabis wrote in a separate announcement to employees. "For that, we need to work with greater speed, stronger collaboration and execution, and to simplify the way we make decisions to focus on achieving the biggest impact."

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Meanwhile, Jeff Dean, former SVP of Google Research and Health, will "take on the elevated role of Google’s Chief Scientist," where he will report directly to Pichai.

"Working alongside Demis, Jeff will help set the future direction of our AI research and head up our most critical and strategic technical projects related to AI, the first of which will be a series of powerful, multimodal AI models," Pichai continued.

Asking Google Bard a question on a Google Pixel 7 Pro phone

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

The announcement comes at a time when AI is increasingly in the spotlight, thanks to the growing popularity of generative AI programs and chatbots like ChatGPT. Google has attempted to counter with the launch of Bard, a chatbot based on the company's Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA).

However, Google has not been able to match the strong push for OpenAI's ChatGPT tech, which is now integrated into Microsoft's Bing and Edge. Rumors are even swirling that Samsung may be looking to replace Google Search with Bing as a default search engine on its Galaxy smartphones.

Bard may still be in its early stages, but this latest move from Google shows that the company is not resting on its laurels when it comes to advancing its AI efforts.

Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.