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AI race in full gear as Alphabet forms new AI-focused division

AI race in full gear as Alphabet forms new AI-focused division

Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company, is merging two AI-focused research divisions, Google Brain and DeepMind, to keep up the pace with competing AI developments.

“The pace of progress is now faster than ever before. To ensure the bold and responsible development of general Al, we’re creating a unit that will help us build more capable systems more safely and responsibly,” CEO of Alphabet, Sundar Pichai, wrote in a blog post on Thursday.

Pichai announced in a company-wide memo that the new combined group will be headed by DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis, and Google’s head of AI, Jeff Dean, will be promoted to chief scientist. James Manyika, senior vice president of technology and society at Google will now lead Google Research and report under Dean.

The move demonstrates how competition in AI is heating up after OpenAI’s launch of ChatGPT last year, and Google is looking to catch up. Alphabet’s launch of Bard in February, designed to rival the viral chatbot, lost $100 million after it shared inaccurate information in an advertisement.

On the new aim of the teams, Pichai wrote in the memo: “Google Research will continue its focus on fundamental and applied research across a broad portfolio. This means cracking seemingly impossible, foundational and long-term challenges in computer science — including in Al and ML — that benefit people’s lives around the world, from algorithms and theory to privacy and security to quantum computing, health, responsible Al, and more.”

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