Former Snapchat Research Head To Lead Google’s Cloud AI Team

Google logo July 2015 AH 3

Machine learning is increasingly becoming all the rage, and Google is banking on it for the future of the company’s cloud computing business. As part of the search giant’s push in machine learning, Google has formed a new artificial intelligence team for Google Cloud called the Google Cloud Machine Learning group. Google has also hired Jia Li, Snapchat’s former head of research, to lead the team, who will be joinin on at Google in the position full-time.

During a press briefing at Google’s San Francisco headquarters, Google Cloud head Diane Greene announced the new group within her division tasked with consolidating the diverse groups that started Google’s machine learning work for its cloud platform. Jia Li will work alongside Fei-Fei Li, a former director of AI at Stanford. Their addition to Google’s cloud division comes at a critical time for the service as it seeks to expand its machine learning application to train and improve neural networks over time. The goal is to demonstrate how the Mountain View giant’s cloud tools can help customers in their translation, computer vision, and recruitment needs using machine learning algorithms.

It isn’t mentioned exactly what Jia Li’s responsibilities will include in her leadership role for Google’s new Cloud Machine Learning Group, but Google’s decision to choose her for the position shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, as it’s noted that she has spent time with Yahoo Labs in their Visual Learning and Computing group and she has prior computer vision experience. With computer vision being a part of what this new team will be focusing on, compiled with Jia Li’s other talents and job experience, Google likely sees her as the perfect fit to help them advance and improve their own cloud computing business. Also worth mentioning is that part of Jia Li’s responsibilities at Snapchat included coming up with new methods of engagement for users, whether that could have been new features or simply improvements to existing ones that made for an overall better user experience. Given those particular details, Google could be looking for Li to do much of the same with their Cloud Computing platform.