Alphabet merges Google Brain with DeepMind as AI race heats up
Google parent company Alphabet has upped its artificial intelligence game by merging two units – its AI research branch Google Brain and AI firm DeepMind.
It is thought that the new AI-focused group – now rebranded as Google DeepMind – has likely been created to compete with OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot, which rival Microsoft is heavily invested in.
The recent move will “significantly accelerate our progress in AI,” Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in the blogpost announcing the merge.
“I’m excited for the next phase of this journey, the progress we’ll make against our mission, and all the ways we’ll help people reach their potential with increasingly capable and responsible AI,” wrote Pichai.
Demis Hassabis, CEO of DeepMind, also underlined the responsibility goal of the union, writing: “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.”
Responsible AI has been a hot topic recently, as a third of the world’s largest banks across the US and Europe have been found in failing to publicly report their approaches to responsible AI which could cause ethical issues now and lack of trust in companies in the future.
Adding to the blogpost, Hassabis did not hide the fact that they are in a rush to get the AI going: “We need to work with greater speed, stronger collaboration and execution, and to simplify the way we make decisions with focus on achieving the biggest impact.”
Google DeepMind, brings “together our world-class talent in AI,” wrote Hassabis, “with the computing power, infrastructure, resources to create the next generation of AI breakthroughs and products across Google and Alphabet.”
DeepMind and Google are thought to be working on a new project, Gemini, that hopes to offer an alternative to OpenAI’s large language model, GPT-4 by creating a “multimodal” AI that responds not only to text prompts, but image prompts too.
Reports of the Gemini project came just over a month after Alphabet revealed its own conversational AI, Bard, which has not, so far received the same acclaim as ChatGPT, and saw Alphabet lose $100 billion in value after Bard responded with inaccurate information in its promotional video.
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