John Giannandrea, head of Google’s search and artificial intelligence units, is stepping down after two years on the post. John joined Google in 2010 after it acquired his startup Metaweb Technologies. That technology formed the basis of Google’s “Knowledge Graph,” which quickly surfaces information at the top of a search.
The company announced on Wednesday that John’s role will be split between two executives: Jeff Dean, the co-founder of Google Brain, will lead all of its AI efforts. Ben Gomes, who joined Google in 2000 and was running search engineering, will take over the search organization.
This move only proves that the company is reshuffling to push AI into more of its products, as CEO Sundar Pichai really has a vision for AI.
Google’s new AI Chief Jeff Dean is one of the company’s earliest employees and is credited with helping to create some of the fundamental technologies that powered the tech giant’s rise. Dean’s experience in AI is extensive – he previously co-founded the Google Brain team and will continue to lead it in his new role.
Google Brain powers the field’s most useful applications such as self-driving cars and medical analysis. Dean is also tasked with the development of TensorFlow, Google’s machine learning framework.
Dean is a legend among Googlers, who are in awe of his programming prowess and extensive knowledge in the domain of artificial intelligence and machine learning.
With a separate unit tasked with developments and innovation centered around artificial intelligence, we can surely see that Google is gearing up for the future and that it aims to be positioned as a leading innovator in the field. Every step that Dean makes henceforth will be closely watched by all of Silicon Valley and the world.