Google merges Android and Hardware divisions to drive AI development

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, announced significant organizational changes on Thursday regarding the company’s focus on building artificial intelligence (AI) models.

He expressed optimism about the potential of the restructured teams and confirmed the continued collaboration between Google DeepMind and Google Research.

Responsibility and Safety

Pichai emphasized Google’s commitment to responsible AI development, mentioning their participation in establishing measures for safe and responsible AI usage.

To enhance accuracy, trustworthiness, and transparency in AI products, the Responsible AI teams in research will be relocated to Google DeepMind.

Additionally, other responsibility teams will merge into the central Trust and Safety team, focusing on AI testing and evaluations. These changes aim to establish clear responsibility and accountability throughout the development and deployment processes.

Continued Leadership and Collaboration

Pichai expressed excitement about the potential outcomes of these team consolidations. He mentioned that James, responsible for Research, Tech & Society, and Labs, will continue to oversee Google Research, with Yossi as the dedicated leader reporting to him.

Pichai affirmed that James and Demis will maintain their close collaboration, ensuring continued cooperation between Google DeepMind and Google Research.

Computing Platforms and Devices

Pichai highlighted AI’s transformative potential in reimagining computing platforms, necessitating collaboration between hardware, software, and AI.

The formation of Platforms & Devices, integrating DSPA and P&E teams, aims to accelerate product development, enhance ecosystem partnerships, and facilitate faster decision-making.

Rick Osterloh emphasized the importance of integrating AI across products, citing examples like the Pixel camera and Tensor products. By combining teams, Google aims to expedite AI integration and innovation, recognizing the need to adapt quickly in the rapidly evolving AI landscape.

While acknowledging Google’s historically distinct hardware and software efforts, Osterloh affirmed the company’s focus on delivering leading Android experiences and advancing AI capabilities across devices.

Rick Osterloh on His Role

Rick Osterloh, discussing the changes with The Verge, highlighted the pivotal role of AI in Google’s evolution, emphasizing the necessity of consolidating teams to facilitate full-stack innovation and rapid product development.

He highlighted Google’s efforts to integrate AI across its products and outlined the company’s strategy to leverage AI to enhance user experiences.

Furthermore, Google’s commitment to the Android ecosystem remains strong, with Sameer Samat leading the Android ecosystem and Hiroshi advising on the transition to new projects across Alphabet.

Mission First, said Sundar Pichai

Sundar Pichai reiterated Google’s mission-driven approach amid organizational changes, emphasizing the importance of focus, clarity, and constructive collaboration.

He stressed the need to preserve Google’s culture of open discussion while maintaining a respectful and productive work environment.

Pichai highlighted Google’s ambitious endeavor to reinvent itself around AI, acknowledging the transformative impact of AI on every aspect of the company.

He emphasized the urgency of adapting to these changes and maintaining a cohesive organizational culture to realize Google’s AI-driven vision.

Announcing the updates, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, stated:

We have a responsibility to be an objective and trusted provider of information that serves all of our users globally. When we come to work, our aim is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. That supersedes everything else, and I expect us to act with a focus that reflects that.