Alphabet Inc is combining Google Brain and DeepMind, as it doubles down on artificial intelligence research in its race to compete with rival systems like OpenAI's ChatGPT chatbot.
The new division will be led by DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis and its setting up will ensure "bold and responsible development of general AI", Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said in a blog post on Thursday.
Alphabet said the teams that are being combined have delivered a number of high-profile projects including the transformer, technology that formed the bedrock of some of OpenAI's own work.
Going forward, the Alphabet staff will work on "multimodal" AI, like OpenAI's latest model GPT-4, which can respond not only to text prompts but to image inputs as well to generate new content.
Google has for decades dominated the search market, with a share of over 80%, but Wall Street fears that the Alphabet unit could fall behind Microsoft Corp in the fast-moving AI race. Technology from OpenAI, funded by Microsoft, powers the rival software maker's updated Bing search engine.
Alphabet announced the launch of Bard in February to take on ChatGPT as well. It lost $100 billion in value on Feb. 8 after Bard shared inaccurate information in a promotional video and a company event failed to dazzle.
Alphabet shares were up 2% on Thursday.