Google is rebranding its artificial intelligence research division into Google AI and is dropping the old Google Research name so as to highlight the importance of such technologies in the context of its long-term strategy moving forward, the company said Monday. The move was announced just a day ahead of the latest iteration of the annual Google I/O developer conference that will be running in Mountain View, California, for the next three days. Almost exactly a year ago, Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said Alphabet's subsidiary is now transitioning to "an AI-first company," having added that its ultimate plan is to infuse all of its products and services with such technologies.
The Google AI name is now meant to unify "all the state-of-the-art research" at the tech giant, whereas every previous Google Research project is now being rebranded as well, together with any accompanying websites, all of which are now being updated with relevant redirects as well. The technology as a whole is still in its infancy despite massive advancements in the field recorded in recent years, with Mr. Pichai often reiterating Google has a lot of work ahead of it before it can truly embrace AI. Machine learning and related solutions are hence expected to be a major focus of this year's Google I/O, much like they were in recent times, with many of the firm's flagship services such as the Google Assistant and Google Lens being announced at previous iterations of the same event.
Besides AI, Google I/O should also highlight the technology juggernaut's recent advancements in regards to Android Auto, Android Things, video streaming, virtual and augmented reality, advertising, and several other sectors. No major hardware announcements are expected to be made at the event as Google is now revealing most such products at another dedicated happening every October, having started that practice two years back. The company's keynote is starting later today at 10 AM PST at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Google's home city.