Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has announced that it would merge DeepMind, the AI firm it purchased in 2014, with its Google Research Brain team to form “Google DeepMind.”
According to a blog post by Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai and DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis, this move will accelerate progress in artificial intelligence.
Hassabis will serve as CEO of Google DeepMind and lead the development of the company’s most capable and responsible general AI system. Meanwhile, Jeff Dean, co-founder of the Brain team, will take on the chief scientist role for Google Research and Google DeepMind.
The merger comes after reports that DeepMind was planning to become more independent from Google. DeepMind believed that a single company should not control their technology and should be free to develop its research without commercialization. However, the merger seems to be the result of Google’s desire to strengthen its efforts in the AI industry by merging its research teams.
Google Research will continue to work on “fundamental advances in computer science across areas such as algorithms and theory, privacy and security, quantum computing, health, climate, sustainability, and responsible AI.” The merger will allow DeepMind to focus on its core mission of developing AI while leveraging Google’s vast resources to achieve its goals.
The move comes after Google launched early access for its AI chatbot and Bing Chat rival, Bard, which was reportedly inferior to competitors in tests conducted immediately after release. Pichai promised an upgrade was on the way, but Google employees reportedly criticized the product before its release, calling it premature.
The merger will allow both companies to leverage their strengths to accelerate progress in AI while focusing on developing their most capable and responsible general AI system.