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Sundar Pichai on merging Android and Pixel teams, Google DeepMind, more



Sundar Pichai is out with an internal email today detailing the big “Platforms & Devices” reorganization of Android, Chrome and Pixel, as well as other company-wide changes.

To truly drive computing forward, we need to do it at the intersection of hardware, software and AI. So we are formalizing the collaboration between DSPA and P&E and bringing the teams together in a new PA called Platforms & Devices.

Sundar Pichai

The Alphabet/Google CEO says this merger will result in “higher quality products and experiences for our users and partners.” Specifically, it will “turbocharge the Android and Chrome ecosystems” and “bring the best innovations to partners faster,” with Circle to Search for Samsung cited as an example. 

This should “speed up decision-making” internally. It follows the hardware division in January switching to a functional organization model where, for example, there is one team for hardware engineering across Pixel, Nest, and Fitbit.

Meanwhile, there are other AI changes today. All “compute-intensive model building” now takes place within Google DeepMind. This gives other teams within Google “single access points” for “tak[ing] these models and build[ing] generative AI applications. 

Meanwhile, Google’s Responsible AI teams are moving from Research to DeepMind “to be closer to where the models are built and scaled.”

We’re standardizing launch requirements for AI-powered features and increasing investments in “red team” testing for vulnerabilities and broader evaluations to help ensure responses are accurate and responsive to our users’ prompts. 

Meanwhile, Google Research is getting a “clear and distinct mandate to continue investing in foundational and applied computer science research in three key areas”:

  • computing systems — including quantum
  • foundational ML and algorithms
  • applied science and society

Fundamental computer science research is in our DNA and we have some of the world’s best computer scientists. We simply would not be the company we are today without the researchers who developed the foundations on which all Google’s products are built and are now inventing the foundations for our future.

Pichai ends on a “mission first” note:

We have a duty to be an objective and trusted provider of information that serves all of our users globally. When we come to work, our goal 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. 

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