According to a report by The Financial Times, Google is risking internal turmoil by bringing DeepMind onboard. Citing people familiar with the matter, the report said that the restructuring was likely to “ruffle lots of feathers” and spark resignations.
Former employees and collaborators said that the newly formed unit will need to put aside “years of rivalry” to better compete with the challenge in the industry.
In an earnings call on Tuesday, Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said Google DeepMind will “help accelerate our progress and develop the most capable AI systems safely and responsibly.”
DeepMind wants ‘freedom’
According to the report, the integration of DeepMind with Google Brain brings risk because despite Google’s takeover almost a decade ago, DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis has worked to ensure independence from the search giant.
With the latest announcement, Hassabis has been put in a central role and he will lead the development of the company’s most capable and responsible general AI systems — research that will help power the next generation of Google products and services.
In a blog, Pichai also wrote that Jeff Dean will take on the elevated role of Google’s Chief Scientist and will report to the top executive.
“In that capacity he’ll serve as Chief Scientist to Google Research and Google DeepMind. Working alongside Demis, Jeff will help set the future direction of our AI research and head up our most critical and strategic technical projects related to AI, the first of which will be a series of powerful, multimodal AI models,” Pichai noted.