On 20 April 2023, Google announced the formation of Google DeepMind, a new unit that combines the DeepMind team and the Google Brain team from Google Research. The move consolidates Google's artificial intelligence (AI) research divisions to keep pace with the rest of the tech giants. Google DeepMind will work closely with Google's product areas to deliver AI research and products, and a new scientific board will oversee research progress and the unit's direction.
As part of the formation of DeepMind, a new leadership team will be established. Led by Koray Kavukcuoglu, the Vice President of Research, among Eli Collins, Zoubin Ghahramani, and Jeff Dean,, reporting to Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
DeepMind was originally founded by Hassabis, Shane Legg, and Mustafa Suleyman in 2010, and Google bought the company for $500 million in 2014. The lab has since developed artificial intelligence that can shockingly predict the structures of complex proteins.
On Twitter, Hassabis commented,
“[t]hrough Google DeepMind, we are bringing together our world-class talent in AI with the computing power, infrastructure and resources to create the next generation of AI breakthroughs and products across Google and Alphabet, and to do this in a bold and responsible way.”
DeepMind has occasionally faced strife with its corporate parent, Alphabet, with senior managers trying to negotiate for more autonomy. Researching and developing AI is not a poor man’s job. In the past, DeepMind has struggled with growing expenses associated with the computing necessary to train AI. However, according to a report in 2020, Google’s lab has made a modest profit.
As Alphabet tries to beat off rivals like Microsoft and OpenAI in the race for revenue-generating AI, DeepMind has become increasingly important within the company. Alphabet's shares declined after Google's recent AI push failed to impress investors. According to reports, Google is investing massive resources into Magi, a new search engine with AI capabilities, and Gemini, a software program that will compete with OpenAI.
Google envisions a future with universal accessibility to useful information, and thus, views artificial intelligence as a means to an end, known to have been associated with AI since 2016. Moreover, the gaining popularity of artificial intelligence in a global capitalist economy connotes variation, competition, and choice. Seemingly threatened by OpenAI’s speedy developments, DeepMind fast-tracks Google’s efforts within the field.