A company as big as Google has the resources to focus on a lot of different endeavors, but for Google, AI is quickly becoming one of the biggest. In addition to things like Search and Android, we've seen AI become a big initiative over at Google in recent years. Perhaps it shouldn't come as a surprise, then, that Google has decided to re-brand its research arm as Google AI. As of today, Google Research will be known as Google AI. The name change was announced over on the freshly re-launched Google AI Blog, which up until a few hours ago was known as the Google Research Blog.
A lot of the computational plumbing that powers Google owes something to Jeff Dean. He built early versions of the company's Web search and ad systems. And he invented MapReduce, a system for working with big data sets that triggered a major shift across the computing industry. Dean is now laboring to reinvent the inner workings of Google and the wider world all over again. He leads the Google Brain research group, which aims to advance machine learning--the art of making software figure out how to do things for itself instead of being explicitly programmed.
At the Google I/O developer conference this month, there was one super clear message: Alphabet is now in the artificial intelligence business. This has big implications for lots of people. There are 2 billion active Android devices, 800 million Google Drive users, and 500 million Google photos users who upload 1.2 billion photos every day. "We spoke last year about this important shift in computing, from a mobile-first to an AI-first world," said Google CEO Sundar Pichai in the opening keynote, setting the stage for how Google is adding AI to everything. "We are excited about designing better machine learning models.
Machine learning is an application of artificial intelligence. It provides the system an ability to automatically learn and to improve from experience without being thoroughly programmed. The primary aim of this is to allow the computers to learn automatically without human intervention. Google is one of the major advocates of this artificial intelligence. That is the reason behind making'Google Machine Learning Crash Course' available to millions of Googlers all around the world for free as part of Google AI initiative.
Google has unveiled a custom chip created specifically to facilitate projects related to machine learning and artificial intelligence. The company is calling the chip a Tensor Processing Unit, or TPU, in reference to the fact that it has been tailored to work with its TensorFlow machine learning API. A blog post published by hardware engineer Norm Jouppi reveals that the TPU started its life as a "stealthy project" several years ago. The technology has now been implemented in Google's data centers for more than a year, and it appears that the chips offer distinct advantages over standard processors. Google claims that its TPUs offer "better-optimized performance per watt for machine learning."