It's no secret that Google takes A.I. seriously but the company's decision to move its Google Brain research lab to the same floor of its headquarters as its CEO may be a clear indicator of just how serious it is. The move itself likely isn't too surprising since CEO Sundar Pichai has repeatedly touted the significance of A.I. and has made it a primary mission of the company to further its progress. Moreover, many companies involved in the various branches of the tech industry have done something similar with their own A.I. units. Placing prominent projects nearer to a company's leadership is a common tactic that allows those in leadership roles to interact more readily with those individuals or projects expected to push a given company forward. That interaction feeds executives information about which projects an important unit is excited about and what potential those working in that unit see, as it pertains to their work.
However, what makes Google's latest internal move interesting is that Google Brain doesn't necessarily operate in the same way as teams at those other companies do. Specifically, rather than working under a close regiment of goals and clear objectives, Google Brain effectively sets its own agendas. Of course, that includes requirements to maintain a portfolio of projects across varying time frames and risk levels. But it is effectively a bleeding edge unit, rather than being the team behind implementations of iterative improvements to any single A.I.-powered application or product the company is now well known for. These are A.I. researchers working on projects that are genuinely new, pushing the rapid and often surprising advancements of the company's many subdivisions over the past several years.
Prior to the move, Google Brain had been situated on the opposite end of the campus and its tenure next to the top brass at the company won't go on indefinitely. The move also took several months to complete. So, it seems as though Google has placed next-generation A.I. uses and enhancements as the most central aspect of the company for the time being. That should, at very least, result in some very interesting steps forward for the technology.