DeepMind and co-founder Mustafa Suleyman have decided to go their separate ways. Earlier this year, there were controversial reports in which the two were arguing, and some even suggested he was on leave. But now he actually seems to have left the company in the UK. And for his sister. Ouch.
After a wonderful decade at DeepMind, I'm excited to announce that I'm working on @Kent_Walker @JeffDean and the awesome Google team on the opportunities and impact of applied AI technologies. I can not wait to get started! More in January, when I start the new job!
̵1; Mustafa Suleyman (@mustafasuleymn) December 5, 2019
This sister is Google, DeepMind's sister company under the umbrella of Alphabet. Alphabet had already been shaken this week after founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin stepped down to take over Google's CEO Sundar Pichai as CEO of both companies.
Now James Vincent of The Verge, Suleyman's joining Jeff Dean on Google AI, reports on policies. This sounds good, as Google's current AI policy can not be considered a rough draft.
There has been a lot of turbulence in the Alphabet lately, but investors are satisfied, and sometimes that's all that matters. At the moment there is no reason to regard this as anything other than good news – at least for now.
But at least it should be remembered that Suleyman's bread and butter at DeepMind was a health project and there were some dubious events between Alphabet, DeepMind and Google when it came to private health data. After promising to keep its healthcare programs and patient data independent from Google, DeepMind allowed Google to take over the Streams program. Experts argue that this has broken DeepMind's promise:
This is FULLY unacceptable. DeepMind has repeatedly and unconditionally promised never to connect people's sensitive, identifiable health data with Google. Now it's announced … that's just that. It's not transparency, it's a breach of trust. Https://t.co/EWM7lxKSET (Wins: Powles & Hodson) pic.twitter.com/3BLQvH3dg1
– Julia Powles (@juliapowles) November 13, 2018
On the other Google AI has made great strides in the healthcare sector, so there are plenty of opportunities for him to use his powers forever at Mountain View.
It looks like a win for all except DeepMind. However, if you look into a crystal ball, you may see a future in which DeepMind, Waymo, and any other business that you and your friends probably no longer have as "Google companies" or "companies Google bought." Does Alphabet really have something to offer in 2020?
My voice: Just turn it into "Google AI". That's the truth.