DeepMind, the unit at Google Inc. dealing with Artificial Intelligence, has lost in its attempts to coax the leaders at the parent company to grant it more autonomy. DeepMind heads have for years been holding conversations with Google, requesting tirelessly for a separate legal structure, citing its need for the sensitive nature of their research.
However, the unit last month informed its staff that Google had closed the files and discussions on the matter.
Losses Galore, Yet DeepMind Wishes to Go Nonprofit
DeepMind, established as an AI research firm back in 2010, and taken over by Google (or more precisely, by Alphabet Inc.), has for years been holding negotiations with Google, pleading for greater independence in its legal and business structure. This comes even as the unit is severely in need of Google, both to back its research initiatives, as well as to foot its losses worth millions of dollars.
DeepMind had reportedly been suggesting turning itself into a structure akin to a non-profit, among other ideas. The goal was apparently to keep the research safe from the from the influence of a solitary corporate entity. Google however, shook its head a firm no at this, citing the millions (or billions) of dollars it had splurged out on the AI research over the years.
Small Happiness, But Nothing Concrete
Losses at DeepMind currently stand at a whopping £477 million, even as profits from projects to improve the Android’s battery life and reduce energy costs, remain unclear.
Google Inc. has repeatedly held that AI is the future, especially for its business model. And the recent closing of the negotiations only makes it clear that the tech giant is more keen than ever to extract some real profits from all the research going on at DeepMind.
The issue of the ethics board (which Google had vowed to set up at the time of taking DeepMind over), also remains unclear. Some reports say that the board exercises ownership over the research pertaining to artificial general intelligence (which is AI meeting/exceeding human intelligence).