The new organization, called Google DeepMind, will be led by Demis Hassabis (current CEO of DeepMind). Jeff Dean (co-founder of Google Brain) will be the chief scientist of the new organization.
That’s why today Sundar is announcing that DeepMind and the Brain team from Google Research will be joining forces as a single, focused unit called Google DeepMind. Combining our talents and efforts will accelerate our progress towards a world in which AI helps solve the biggest challenges facing humanity, and I’m incredibly excited to be leading this unit and working with all of you to build it.
"Sundar is announcing" seems like a carefully chosen phrasing.
By creating Google DeepMind, I believe we can get to that future faster.
I’m thrilled to be on this journey with you and look forward to seeing everyone soon.
Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but the subtext I get from this letter is that this was very much not DeepMind or Demis's choice. There is no language indicating that he is pleased or happy with this decision, or that he believes it is the correct decision. Just "thrilled" and "excited". This reads like it was written by someone who was forced to fall in line.
Seems like bad news from the buying time / avoiding a race perspective.
Unless the post was edited afterwards I think the last link:
DeepMind reportedly lost a yearslong bid to win more independence from Google"One suggestion from DeepMind’s founders was apparently for the company to have the same legal structure as a nonprofit, 'reasoning that the powerful artificial intelligence they were researching shouldn’t be controlled by a single corporate entity, according to people familiar with those plans.' But Google wasn’t on board with this, telling DeepMind it didn’t make sense considering how much money the company has poured into DeepMind."
Is suggesting exactly that.
No mention of AI Safety in the DeepMind announcement, but in the linked message from Sundar Pichai there's a lot of "safe" and "responsible" thrown around.
Anyway, what I'm most curious to know is what happens to DeepMind's safety team. Are they effectively neutered or siloed by this merger? Cannibalized for full-bore AI LLMsSayNiceThings at the expense of anything near AI Don'tKillEveryoneIsm?
if you say safe and responsible enough times, you summon the safety and it protects you safely from the antitrust suit that happens eventually