Google Merges Android and Hardware Units for AI Efficiency

Google is implementing an internal reorganization that combines its Android and hardware teams. Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced a new Platforms & Devices team headed by Rick Osterloh, which includes Android, Chrome, ChromeOS, Photos and all Pixel products. Pichai says the move will help speed development. Osterloh’s mandate is full-stack platform development that smoothly incorporates AI across all Google platforms, including smartphones, TVs and anything with Android OS. Hiroshi Lockheimer, who previously ran ops for Android, Chrome and ChromeOS, moves on to other projects at Google and Alphabet.

The Verge couches the reorganization as “a huge change for Google,” and quotes Osterloh saying the consolidation “helps us to be able to do full-stack innovation when that’s necessary,” citing Pixel development as an example.

Osterloh says GPUs are another good example, with Google having invested significantly in its Tensor products to compete with Nvidia and others.

“Keeping hardware and software close together and aware of each other’s work makes it easier to improve quickly,” The Verge writes in offering his perspective, noting when you do such things with “a single team with a single leader and a single goal, everything can just be faster.”

Pichai indicates in a blog post that the company is “going to consolidate the teams that focus on building models across Research and Google DeepMind. All of this work will now sit in Google DeepMind and scale our capacity to deliver capable AI for our users, partners and customers.”

“With the move,” reports SiliconANGLE, “Google’s Responsible AI team, which focuses on AI safety, will shift from its Research organization to the DeepMind unit, so those experts can collaborate more effectively with the teams responsible for designing, building and training its Gemini generative AI models.”

“These changes continue the work we’ve done over the past year to simplify our structure and improve velocity and execution,” Pichai said.

Last year Google combined DeepMind and Google Brain. This latest move “will give considerably more power to DeepMind chief Demis Hassabis,” writes SiliconANGLE.

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