- The new group will be separate from Google parent-company Alphabet's existing venture arms, CapitalG and GV, according to Axios.
- The new investment initiative suggests a greater alignment with Google CEO Sundar Pichai's "AI first" strategy.
Google has established a new organization to invest in artificial intelligence startups, according to a new report. The new effort shows Google taking its experience with venture capital and applying it to AI, a type of computing that it has been increasingly using across its applications.
The new organization will be separate from Google parent company Alphabet's funding activity within GV (formerly Google Ventures) and CapitalG (formerly Google Capital), Axios reported on Friday. Google itself has also made venture investments on its own.
Google chief executive Sundar Pichai in the past year has started positioning the company as being "AI first" as opposed to being "mobile first." Having an investment group focusing on that does make sense given that thesis.
Google has dedicated AI research groups including DeepMind, whose AlphaGo AI Go player earlier this week beat the top human Go player, Ke Jie. Google uses AI in its search engine, Gmail, Google Maps, Google Photos, and Google Translate, among other things.
Startups who take on funding from the new group can receive mentorship, as well as services and space to operate, Axios said.
AI startups have many places to go to for money, including other corporate venture arms and institutional venture capital firms. But having backing from the new group could provide a particular mark of legitimacy at a time when so many startups today claim to be using AI.
Google declined to comment.
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