Google announced today that it is merging its Google Brain team from Google Research with the Google DeepMind team in an effort to accelerate its progress in AI research and compete with Microsoft and OpenAI. The combined teams will form a single, focused department under the Google DeepMind name.
In a blog post, DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis said, “By bringing together our talents and efforts, we’ll accelerate our progress toward a world where AI helps us tackle humanity’s greatest challenges. I’m thrilled to lead this department and build it alongside everyone. Through close collaboration with our exceptional colleagues across Google’s product areas, we have the opportunity to deliver AI research and products that will significantly improve the lives of billions, transform industries, and advance scientific research.”
Initially launched in 2011, Google Brain was founded by Google senior fellow Jeff Dean, researcher Greg Corrado, and renowned AI professor Andrew Ng. The team’s revenue eventually surpassed that of the entire Google X division, leading to Google Brain becoming an independent department.
In 2014, Google acquired DeepMind, which has since operated independently from Google Brain until today’s merger announcement. This decision marks a major strategic move for Google in response to the competition posed by Microsoft and OpenAI, as the company focuses its resources on catching up in AI and AI product development.