The man tasked with turning bleeding-edge artificial intelligence research into profits is a man by the name of Demis Hassabis

CNBC

“We’re like the engine room of the company,” Hassabis told CNBC, speaking about his newly integrated AI unit within Google.
Last month, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai merged Hassabis’ DeepMind with Google Brain, a separate AI team, and selected Hassabis to lead the group.
Geoffrey Hinton, known as the “Godfather of AI,” says there’s no questioning Hassabis’ will to win.
Hassabis would later go on to co-found DeepMind, which became widely recognized as the world’s leading AI research lab, attracting some of the most prominent experts in deep learning.
Falling behind Under Hassabis, DeepMind was known for developing its technology through games like Breakout and AlphaGo, an AI program that beat the world’s top Go player.
During his career at DeepMind and then at Google, Hassabis dominated the field of AI.
And when OpenAI teamed up with Microsoft and ChatGPT was being used by Microsoft, Google couldn’t afford to be cautious anymore.”
Employees had to stop sharing their research with the world, only publishing papers after the research had been turned into products.

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One well-known figure in artificial intelligence research is Demis Hassabis. He studies neuroscience and is a master of chess. He has less recognition on Wall Street.

For a while, that might not hold true. As the face of Google’s massive AI initiative, Hassabis will make his stage debut at the yearly developer conference, Google I/O, on Tuesday.

Hassabis, an academic recognized for some of the most significant advances in artificial intelligence over the last ten years, is very clear about the task at hand: bringing the newest AI technologies to every corner of the Google universe in order to serve the company’s billions of users.

Hassabis compared his newly integrated AI unit at Google to the company’s engine room in an interview with CNBC.

Hassabis was chosen to head the combined DeepMind and Google Brain teams, which were established separately, by Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai last month. Now that Microsoft-backed OpenAI has emerged so quickly, it is up to Hassabis to make Google once again the leader in generative AI.

Source: Google.

With the introduction of new generative AI services that offer users more inventive and alternative methods to search the internet for information, there might not be a more crucial activity at Google. Is it possible for an experienced researcher like Hassabis to deliver goods that customers adore? This is the business question.

Hassabis’ determination to succeed cannot be questioned, according to Geoffrey Hinton, dubbed the “Godfather of AI.”.

About ten years ago, Hinton recommended that Google acquire DeepMind, saying, “I don’t think I’ve ever met anybody more competitive.”. “Demis is competitive on par with athletes who win gold medals at the Olympics. “.

He developed that characteristic at a young age. Hassabis was a young chess prodigy who was the No. world’s number two player. He was a World Series of Poker competitor as well.

According to Hassabis, he also benefits from consumer experience. He shipped “Theme Park,” a popular video game in the 1990s, when he was just 17 years old. The success of games back then, according to Hassabis, depended on their ease of use and enjoyment factor.”. His own video game company, Elixir Studios, was founded after Theme Park.

After co-founding DeepMind, which attracted some of the most well-known deep learning specialists, Hassabis went on to become known as the world’s top AI research facility. DeepMind was granted extensive autonomy to function autonomously when Google purchased the lab in 2014 for an alleged $500 million.

Losing ground.

DeepMind was well-known under Hassabis for advancing its technology with titles like Breakout and AlphaGo, an AI program that defeated the best go player in the world.

The emphasis on games was justified from a pragmatic standpoint. “Simulations are totally safe, have no consequences, but they can still learn from it,” Hassabis stated in an interview with CNBC. “.

Hassabis was a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence while working at DeepMind and later Google.

In 2018, even Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, informed the co-founders of OpenAI that they would require billions of dollars to stand a chance against Hassabis and Google.

But as competitors like OpenAI and Microsoft introduced highly visible products like ChatGPT and Copilot to the market, Google would lose that advantage.

For a while, Hassabis might have been more focused on garnering academic honors than introducing useful products, according to a person who has worked with him but wished to stay anonymous. Over the past ten years, Hassabis’ work has been many times featured in Nature magazine, one of the world’s most influential scientific journals.

“Honors were never the ultimate goal,” DeepMind stated in a statement provided to CNBC. “They merely highlight the significance and influence of the studies they acknowledged. “.

The ground-breaking technology known as AlphaFold, one of DeepMind’s most significant creations, employed AI to assist biologists in predicting the structure of proteins—a tremendously difficult task that has persisted for decades in biology.

AlphaFold is effectively free since DeepMind made it available to the public.

Transformers is a technique that allows AI models to process training texts more effectively. A group of Google researchers, working independently of DeepMind, published a ground-breaking study on the subject in 2017.

Getty Images | Justin Sullivan.

The ensuing wave of AI innovation—notably at OpenAI—was catapulted by that. The “T” in ChatGPT stands for Transformers.

Its biggest rivals, according to critics, were benefiting from Google’s giveaway of important products and research.

They’ve been extremely cautious and they had the advantage, according to Hinton. Both with regard to generative AI images and large language models, they have exercised extreme caution. Additionally, Google was no longer able to afford to exercise caution after OpenAI and Microsoft partnered and Microsoft began using ChatGPT. “.

Hassabis and Google launched an offensive.

In May 2023, The Washington Post revealed that Google was internally declaring a significant shift from its prior practices. Workers were required to cease disseminating their research to the public and to publish papers only after their findings were incorporated into products.

As a result of its success, AlphaFold attracted major investors for its drug discovery efforts, including Eli Lilly and Novartis.

Hassabis claimed in a TED talk that the ChatGPT moment showed that people were willing to accept and find value in LLMs.

“Mostly, you’re focusing on the things these systems don’t do and their flaws when we’re working on them,” he said. Before releasing them, we intended to make those improvements. Curiously, though, it turned out that tens of millions of people continue to find them to be extremely helpful despite those shortcomings. “.”.

According to Hassabis, it was time to take these goods “outside of the exclusive realm of science.”. ****.

Presently, investors are eager to witness if Google can achieve what they consider to be the greatest achievement—converting that cutting-edge science into revenue.

See the approaching Google antitrust trial.

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