AI Startup by DeepMind Scientists to Challenge Google and OpenAI
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Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) arm, DeepMind, is facing a major talent loss as two of its scientists are quitting to start their own AI startup, according to a Bloomberg report. Laurent Sifre and Karl Tuyl, who were part of the team that developed DeepMind’s Gemini AI models, have already notified Google of their intention to leave and have been in talks with investors about their new company, Holistic.
What is Holistic?
Holistic is the name of the AI startup that Sifre and Tuyl are planning to launch, which could raise up to 200 million euros ($217 million) in funding. The startup’s goal is to create a new AI model that can rival or surpass the existing ones in the market, such as Google’s Gemini, OpenAI’s GPT-4 and DALL-E, and others.
Why are they leaving DeepMind?
DeepMind, which was founded in 2010 and acquired by Google in 2014, is one of the world’s leading AI research labs, with a mission to “solve intelligence” and use it to benefit humanity. DeepMind’s Gemini AI models are among the most advanced and versatile in the industry, powering various products and services, such as Bard, a natural language generation system, and Pixel, a smartphone with AI features.
However, working for DeepMind also comes with some challenges and limitations, such as being under the umbrella of Google and Alphabet, which may have different priorities and agendas than the researchers. Moreover, the AI Startup field is highly competitive and dynamic, with new breakthroughs and innovations happening frequently.
Therefore, some of the top minds and scientists in the field may prefer to have more autonomy and flexibility to pursue their own ideas and visions, rather than being constrained by the corporate structure and culture.
What are the implications of their departure?
The departure of Sifre and Tuyl from DeepMind is a significant blow to the company, as they are among the key contributors to its AI research and development. Their exit also reflects the growing trend of talent migration in the AI Startup, as more and more experts and innovators are leaving established companies to start their own ventures or join smaller and more agile ones.
This could pose a threat to the dominance and influence of the big tech giants, such as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon, which have invested heavily in AI startups and have access to vast amounts of data and resources. However, it could also foster more diversity and creativity in the AI ecosystem, as new players and perspectives emerge and challenge the status quo.
The departure of Sifre and Tuyl from DeepMind is also the latest in a series of high-profile exits at Google, which has been undergoing a restructuring and downsizing process. Google has recently laid off more than a thousand workers across various teams and announced more layoffs to come.
Additionally, two co-founders and several leaders of Fitbit, the wearable device maker that Google acquired in 2019, have also left the company last week.
Significant advancement in the field of AI Startup
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An elucidation of how AI is anticipated to transform this year, commencing with the advancements that are expected in the immediate future.
In 2024, Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, was questioned about the potential surprises that the field of artificial intelligence would unveil. Altman confidently stated that online chatbots like OpenAI’s ChatGPT would make an unexpected leap forward. James Manyika, a Google executive sitting next to him, expressed his agreement by saying, “I fully support that notion.”
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