Google parent company Alphabet has made an exciting announcement regarding its artificial intelligence (AI) teams. The Brain and DeepMind teams will be coming together under the new banner of Google DeepMind, a dedicated AI-focused group within the company. This move is expected to “significantly accelerate our progress in AI,” according to Google and Sundar Pichai.
Pichai explained that the launch of Google DeepMind would help “build more capable systems more safely and responsibly” to ensure the development of responsible general AI. Demis Hassabis, CEO of DeepMind, will head up the new group, while Jeff Dean, co-founder of Brain, will serve as Google and Google DeepMind’s chief scientist.
The team’s focus will be on developing powerful and multimodal AI models, according to Pichai, who added that these efforts would help power the next generation of Alphabet’s products and services. The combined unit will leverage the research advances made by the DeepMind and Brain teams, paving the way for the next wave of world-changing breakthroughs.
The phenomenal teams from Google Research’s Brain and @DeepMind have made many of the seminal research advances that underpin modern AI, from Deep RL to Transformers. Now we’re joining forces as a single unit, Google DeepMind, which I’m thrilled to lead! https://t.co/n2cpn91AOl— Demis Hassabis (@demishassabis) April 20, 2023
DeepMind was founded in 2010 and was acquired by Google in 2014. Its projects include AlphaGo, which beat one of the world’s highest-ranked Go players, and AlphaFold, used to predict 3D models of protein structures. Meanwhile, Brain is Google’s deep learning unit, founded in 2011, which contributed to projects like Google Translate and TensorFlow.
Google is not alone in its efforts to develop AI technology. Many tech giants, including Microsoft, are investing billions in this area. In February 2023, Google partnered with Anthropic to develop “reliable and responsible AI” and launched Google Bard, a conversational AI service. However, the latter received mixed responses from employees, with some calling it “cringe-worthy” and “a pathological liar.”
Despite concerns about the development of AI, Pichai remains optimistic, stating that the pace of adaptation by societal institutions compared to the technology’s development has caused early worries. He feels optimistic that people are starting to have serious conversations about the implications of AI. It remains to be seen how Google DeepMind will impact the development of AI, but it certainly promises exciting advancements in this area.
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