Google Merges AI Research Units

Google on Thursday said it will merge DeepMind and the Brain team from Google Research -- its two primary artificial intelligence (AI) research units -- to become one.

The unit is called Google DeepMind.

“By creating Google DeepMind, I believe we can get to that future faster,” DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis told employees, and later posted the news to the company's blog. “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.”

To accomplish those goals, he wrote, the company must work with greater speed, stronger collaboration and execution, and to simplify the way decisions are made.

Hassabis -- co-founder and CEO of DeepMind, which Google acquired for about $500 million in 2014 -- will lead the newly formed unit. Jeff Dean, the previous head of Google Research overseeing the Google Brain team, moves to a new role as chief scientist.

The company also will create a new Scientific Board for Google DeepMind to oversee research progress and direction of the unit, which will be led by Koray Kavukcuoglu, the director of research at DeepMind, and will have representatives from across the organization. The final decision on board members will be made in the coming days.

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