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DeepMind is stepping away from Google’s tracks.
This is a fact.
In January 2014, Google announced that it had acquired $600 million to acquire the then-unknown company. To this end, Jeff Dean and Geoffrey Hinton also sat/layed in Google’s founder Larry · Page’s private jet and made a special trip to London to review DeepMind.
In that year, DeepMind's official website was the first screen, written in a large font: "DeepMind is pleased to be part of Google." Changed to 2015: "DeepMind is excited to join Google's team."
At the end of 2015, DeepMind came up with AlphaGo. In 2016, AlphaGo began to be famous. DeepMind's official website also changed quietly. This year, the new version of DeepMind official website went live.
The homepage no longer has the word "Google". It is only on "“" pages about us ", not very conspicuous place, mentioned Google, and made it clear that DeepMind is part of the Alphabet Group (Google parent company).
Not only is the official website changed.
In March 2016, AlphaGo played against Korean step nine player Li Shizhen. It was the eve of DeepMind’s fame in the popular field of vision. From the arena, the press conference to the live broadcast, its name wasGoogle DeepMind.
More than a year later, Wuzhen, AlphaGo's opponent was replaced by Ke Jie. DeepMind's name was not included in the organizer, it only appeared in the subtitle of the event and there was no more Google in front of it.
DeepMind later showed up again, and the habit of taking Google's name before it seems to be completely gone.
Also engaged in AI research, is also a gathering of big cattle. There has been speculation about the relationship between Google Brain and DeepMind. Last year in Wuzhen, the qubit asked Google about this issue.
At that time, Jeff Dean replied: "DeepMind's work may be more inclined to develop algorithms in more pure, idealized environments (such as games); we tend to focus on complex issues, but also need to consider landing problems. ”
He also stressed that there is no conflict between the two teams, but there are many complementary and cooperation.
Is the outside world thinking more?
Maybe not, and the contradiction seems to be intensifying.
Just recently, The Information on the foreign media burst into a pile of DeepMind's raging material. This is also the entanglement between DeepMind and Google. For the first time, there is a large amount of solid hammer released.
Also proud and burned money
in conclusion. According to reports, the impression DeepMind left for Google can be attributed to two points.
One is proud.
Boston Dynamics, a robot company with the same name as the world. From time to time shocked the world with a variety of magical robots, such as robot dogs that do not fall, backflip robots and so on.
When Andy Rubin, the father of Android, left, Peach wanted DeepMind to take over Google's robotics division. However, Hasabis, founder and CEO of DeepMind, rejected the idea. the reason is simple.
Hasabis was a bit out of Boston. In his eyes, Boston Dynamics really did not use much AI. To take over the business means to distract his attention from the AI.
Google’s cloud computing business has been developing poorly. Later, VMware’s former CEO and co-founder, Diane Greene, was invited by Google to lead the cloud computing business.
In the face of daunting tasks, Greene's strategy is to promote AI cloud services so as to take the initiative in cloud computing competition. The reason is simple. If the tools provided by Google Cloud can help companies analyze data in complex ways, they can promote the sale of more storage and computing services.
So Google Cloud found DeepMind.
According to two informed sources, because DeepMind has a high reputation in the field of artificial intelligence, the Greene team hopes to use its brand for marketing. For example, use the words "Powered By DeepMind" in Google Cloud Services.
However, this seemingly simple proposal was ruthlessly rejected by DeepMind.
Because they think the market goal of Google Cloud is not clear, and this cooperation will weaken DeepMind's brand.
A former Google executive revealed that the founding DeepMind team had a lack of appreciation of Google's machine learning algorithms that it had developed when discussing with Google employees.
Google employees believe that DeepMind enjoys a special treatment when all Google’s AI teams report to senior vice president Giannandrea. Prior to this, there were employees who gave Giannandrea's statement to all members at the meeting.
In recruitment, there is direct competition between DeepMind and Google Brain.
More importantly, there is more than Google Brain that conflicts with DeepMind. In 2014, Mustafa's team was ready to work with YouTube to improve the recommendation algorithm. However, the two teams were very difficult to work in. They were in different time zones and were arguing about how much data they had to share with each other. As a result, this project was awful.
The second is to burn money.
The document published by the British government last year showed that DeepMind had revenue of 52.7 million U.S. dollars in 2016 and a loss of 162 million U.S. dollars. Among them, wages, travel, office hardware and software and other expenses reached 137 million US dollars, more than doubled over the same period last year.
Two people familiar with the situation recalled that many of Google’s original AI researchers were surprised by the DeepMind acquisition, including some employees of Google Brain.
At that time, Google Brain's research project focused on some more practical goals, such as optimizing Google Maps' image recognition capabilities and enhancing Android's speech recognition capabilities.
The constant friction between them and DeepMind, one of the most important factors is the impact of their respective projects on the bottom line of the entire company's books. Google Brain has proven its value to the company, and the rationality of DeepMind’s expensive expenses has always been questioned.
After the new CFO Ruth Porat took office in 2015, he also began to put pressure on DeepMind. According to former DeepMind employees, the “Women’s most powerful woman” “DeepMind” displayed some values other than the brand’s.
A few months later, Mustafa’s “Applications” division was also asked to make financial estimates of the impact of its own projects.
Five-year limit will come
Why is DeepMind and Google somewhat contradictory?
“This must be a system problem! ”
Really. In the first year after Google acquired DeepMind, Kassabis and Mustafa needed to report to Google’s senior vice president Alan Eustace. By early 2015, the veteran who had managed Google's search business had retired, and the co-founders of DeepMind had reported to Peggy.
This reporting level has also been questioned, but it has continued until now.
In 2015, Google reorganized into Alphabet Corporation, and the new architecture seems to be able to draw a clearer dividing line between DeepMind and other departments. This should solve some problems, but it does not.
In September 2017, as the final step in the restructuring of Alphabet, Google stripped companies such as Waymo, GV, and Verily into a new holding company: XXVI.
Did DeepMind also be stripped from Google at the time?
Even now there is no clear answer. DeepMind and Alphabet’s spokesmen declined to comment on this, and also suggested that the question be thrown to the other party’s answer.
But obviously, DeepMind got the budget support from Alphabet and Page, but it did not have the status of independent development like other departments. This also means that it cannot be financed from outside.
There is no doubt that it is certainly within the scope of Alphabet, but it cannot be called the Alphabet subsidiary with Waymo, Calico, etc. However, it is completely different from teams such as Google Brain, which is owned by Google.
Problems with the organizational structure have not been resolved and time has come at a crucial moment.
In March of next year, Google’s fifth anniversary of the acquisition of DeepMind, with DeepMind’s arrival at Google’s 75 early employees, including DeepMind CEO Hasabis himself, can decide to stay.
Do you think time is subtle and not subtle?