At I/O 2018, Google AI was announced as a company-wide initiative that encompasses Google Research. Following that AI first approach, Google has been opening research centers around the world. The latest in France is now open, amid further expansion into the country.
Google announced the AI center earlier this year as part of three-pronged investment in France. Google Digital Workshops, similar to Grow with Google, opened in June and provides training in digital literacy and online skills. The company first opened a Paris office in 2004 and then an R&D center in 2011 that aided in the development of Chrome, YouTube, and Google Arts & Culture.
Google AI is distinct from DeepMind, which earlier this year also opened a research lab in Paris. The Alphabet division is focussing on fundamental AI research, while Google is tackling health and computer vision, while exploring other areas like the environment and art.
Through our open research model, we want to collaborate with academic and academic stakeholders in France and around the world to continuously advance the possibilities of Artificial Intelligence.
Meanwhile, Google also expanded its existing French offices to accommodate an expected doubling of headcount to 1,000 employees. A quarter of that staff will be comprised of researchers and engineers. The AI center formally opened today, alongside expanded space, with a ceremony attended by French officials and Google AI head Jeff Dean.
Beyond DeepMind, Alphabet is also increasing its presence in the country with a Jigsaw team. Focussed on applying technology to solve democracy and security challenges like censorship and online harassment, Jigsaw will conduct artificial intelligence research. It will work with other Google AI teams and researchers.