Sundar Pichai creates ‘Google DeepMind’ to Build robust AI systems

Alarmed at the success of Microsoft-owned OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai has created a unit that will help the company build more capable AI systems safely and responsibly.

This group, called ‘Google DeepMind’, will bring together two leading research groups in the AI field: the Brain team from Google Research, and DeepMind.

“Their collective accomplishments in AI over the last decade span AlphaGo, Transformers, word2vec, WaveNet, AlphaFold, sequence to sequence models, distillation, deep reinforcement learning, and distributed systems and software frameworks like TensorFlow and JAX for expressing, training and deploying large scale ML models,” Pichai explained in a blog post late on Thursday.

As CEO of Google DeepMind, Demis Hassabis will lead the development of the most capable and responsible general AI systems — research that will help power the next generation of Google products and services.

“Jeff Dean will take on the elevated role of Google’s Chief Scientist, reporting to me. In that capacity he’ll serve as Chief Scientist to Google Research and Google DeepMind,” said Pichai.

Google has used AI to improve many of its core products, from Search, YouTube and Gmail to the camera in Pixel phones.

“We’ve helped businesses and developers harness the power of AI via Google Cloud, and we’ve shown AI’s potential to address societal issues like health and climate change,” Pichai added.

As Microsoft takes the lead with AI-powered Bing Search and ChatGPT, Google is also set to release new AI-powered Search next month, with more features coming this fall.

The new features will be available exclusively in the US, and will be released initially to a maximum of one million users, according to The New York Times.

The company plans are part of efforts to meet the threat posed by Microsoft’s Bing chatbot and OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

Google’s chatbot called Bard was released in March to a limited number of users in the US and the UK.

However, Bard has a long way to go to catch up with ChatGPT and GPT-4.

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