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April 3, 2018

Google shakes up leadership to sharpen focus on AI

Google hopes the hierarchical changes will push it to the top of the AI game.

By CBR Staff Writer

Internet giant Google is making changes at the top of its hierarchy in a bid to become a leading player in artificial intelligence (AI).

As part of a top level shake up, John Giannandrea will exit from his role as Google’s AI and search chief.

Google, which had combined its search and artificial intelligence units in early 2016, is now taking a U-turn by splitting them into two separate divisions to sharpen its focus on the emerging technology.

Giannandrea was earlier responsible for both the units and he will now be making way for two new leaders for the search and AI divisions, which allow them focus on respective divisions.

Google shakes up leadership to sharpen focus on AI

The shake up aims to boost Google’s position in the artificial intelligence market.

The current leader of the Google Brain project, Jeff Dean, will get the additional responsibility of heading a dedicated AI unit for the search engine company. On the other hand, Ben Gomes, the current head at search engineering will lead Google’s search division as vice president.

As far as Giannandrea is concerned, the veteran computer scientist will stay on with Google, serving the company in a different role. Known for his expertise in machine learning, Giannandrea had joined in Google about eight years ago, following the search engine company’s acquisition of Freebase developer Metaweb Technologies.

The technology, which was developed by Giannandrea and others at the San Francisco-based startup, is considered to have powered Google’s “Knowledge Graph” feature that was introduced by the company in 2012.

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Knowledge Graph, which is shown on the right side of the search engine results page, was launched to improve Google’s search results by pulling out information collected from multiple sources into a box.

In the recent times, Google has made it clear that improving its artificial intelligence capabilities will be its top strategy. To support that, its parent company Alphabet has pumped in huge amount of money into machine learning and other capabilities.

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