Sign up to receive 5 free days of our daily summary for tech news.

Special Offer: Try out The Information today for only $10/month for your first 3 months.
Google

Deep Confusion: Tensions Lingered Within Google Over DeepMind

When Google unveiled its plan to form an Alphabet holding company in 2015, it was pitched as a way to ensure Google’s blue-sky bets in areas like self-driving cars and health care could flourish under independent leadership. One business that hoped to capitalize on the new arrangement was the London-based artificial intelligence startup DeepMind, which Google had acquired a year earlier.

But three years after the restructuring, DeepMind’s status within Alphabet remains unsettled, according to former Alphabet and DeepMind employees involved in these episodes who agreed to speak with The Information on the condition that they not be named. Instead of proving a model for the new structure, DeepMind is demonstrating how drawing clear lines between Alphabet and Google products and services is harder than it seems.

DeepMind is part of Alphabet, but it doesn’t have the same level of independence as some of Alphabet’s other companies, such as self-driving car company Waymo and Verily Life Sciences, according to a person familiar with the structure. But as part of Alphabet, it is separate from Google’s other AI fiefdoms, such as Google Brain—an independence that has irked the old guard at Google and has created confusion around partnerships.

What Is The Information?

Notes c5deeda06ab4ba3bb64e208f234bfd828cdb7031f4b8d9ef5ffe24616d188b97

Exclusive Articles

We broke it first. Receive original reporting you won't read anywhere else from the largest newsroom in tech.

Notebook 6c83b3311db49a8adebea2e7fe2364564e90295556b8e983aea7986068e1a47c

Daily news analysis

Every weeknight, we'll send you our reporters’ views on the day’s top tech news—distilled into one email.

Conference calls 31d2645b356d3bb7470146f8d53ea066d45f6cb5d19dd7b6b299b046c8fac7c0

Conference calls

Get access to our reporters and other top executives with monthly deep-dive calls into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles.

Events ed23353632f8b00a54b6b229ac78d6aa5e78755fa35c00eb4d0e87d72c711c4f

Special Events

For no extra fee, get access to more than a dozen events yearly, from intimate dinners to larger gatherings with marquee speakers.

What else is included in my subscription?

Become a contributor

Share your views and find other subscribers by completing your profile. You’ll be listed in our contributor directory.

Slack community

Discuss topics and current events with our subscriber-only Slack group and share news about your company with other subscribers.

Annual Subscriber only benefits:

Org Charts

Access the only collection of tech company org charts. Our expanding database includes companies like Amazon, Snap, and Uber.

Crypto Newsletter

Our experts investigate the latest in the crypto world to keep you in-the-know about the movements of digital currencies.

No subscription? You're missing out.

Join the high-powered community of tech and business leaders who rely on The Information's original news and in-depth reporting.

Subscribe