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Artificial intelligence

Already “AI first,” Google just decided to up the algorithmic ante

April 3, 2018

Google is shaking up its leadership and breaking AI into a separate business unit.

The news: The Google executive in charge of search and AI, John Giannandrea, is stepping down, to be replaced by two executives: Jeff Dean, the cofounder of Google Brain, will take over AI, while Ben Gomes, currently in charge of search engineering, will lead the search business. Giannandrea will stay at the company, according to TechCrunch.

More shake-ups: This follows Microsoft’s announcement last week that it is splitting into two broad engineering divisions: one for cloud and AI, and another one Microsoft calls “experiences and devices.”

Why it matters: It’s further evidence that tech firms see AI as central to the future of their business. Not that we needed more from Google—CEO Sundar Pichai has already said the company is going to be “AI first.” Giving the technology a dedicated business unit is certainly a way to get there.

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