Google Unit DeepMind Tried and Failed to Win AI Autonomy From Parent

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Google Unit DeepMind Tried and Failed to Win AI Autonomy From Parent (



from the closer-look dept.

Senior managers at Google artificial-intelligence unit DeepMind have been negotiating for years with the parent company for more autonomy, seeking an independent legal structure for the sensitive research they do. From a report: DeepMind told staff late last month that Google called off those talks, WSJ reported Friday, citing people familiar with the matter. The end of the long-running negotiations, which hasn’t previously been reported, is the latest example of how Google and other tech giants are trying to strengthen their control over the study and advancement of artificial intelligence. Earlier this month, Google unveiled plans to double the size of its team studying the ethics of artificial intelligence and to consolidate that research.

[…] DeepMind’s founders had sought, among other ideas, a legal structure used by nonprofit groups, reasoning that the powerful artificial intelligence they were researching shouldn’t be controlled by a single corporate entity, according to people familiar with those plans. On a video call last month with DeepMind staff, co-founder Demis Hassabis said the unit’s effort to negotiate a more autonomous corporate structure was over, according to people familiar with the matter. He also said DeepMind’s AI research and its application would be reviewed by an ethics board staffed mostly by senior Google executives.

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coming up it.”
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