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What is Google DeepMind? All you need to know about the AI research lab

Google I/O in 2023 put artificial intelligence at the forefront. The team behind many of the AI projects that Google has touted of late is born out of a prior acquisition combined with another team within Alphabet. Read on for the important info on Google DeepMind.

AI has long been a buzzword of many technology giants but, over the last year or so, that has greatly increased. The rising popularity of ChatGPT, and its integration with Microsoft products, looks to have acted as a catalyst for speedier development of customer-facing artificial intelligence products.

Google swiftly jumped on board by releasing its Bard AI chatbot then, at Google I/O 2023, showing off a lot of new AI features across its suite of products, from Pixel devices (like the Google Pixel 7a) to Google Workspace. But, where does it all start? Alphabet’s AI research lab is now called Google DeepMind. Here are the basics.

What is Google DeepMind?

Google DeepMind was formed in April 2023 and is an artificial intelligence research laboratory born out of the merger of DeepMind Technologies with Google’s Brain AI team. Previously, DeepMind Technologies was a company founded in 2010, initially separate from Google’s parent company Alphabet. DeepMind was acquired by Google (prior to the name change to Alphabet) in 2014.

At Google I/O 2023, Google highlighted the contribution of its DeepMind team for its PaLM 2 (Pathways Language Model) – the company’s language modelling powering its Bard chatbot and other AI query tools – as well as its next-generation Gemini coming down the line.

Some of DeepMind’s most notable AI projects have included AlphaGo. AlphaGo is a program trained on the strategy board game Go and was demonstrated impressively by challenging, and beating, professional Go players.

Later, AlphaFold came along, using artificial intelligence to work on the molecular biology problem of protein folding. DeepMind then turned its hand to gaming with AlphaStar, an AI program that reached Grandmaster level in the StarCraft II real-time strategy game.

DeepMind has also worked on AlphaCode, an AI coding engine aimed at developing programs at a level similar to the average programmer. The lab has tried its hand at healthcare too, working alongside Moorfields Eye Hospital in London to create AI-powered eye scanning. The aim being to detect early signs of blindness.

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