Alphabet kicks off a private two-day conference dedicated to health, featuring AI chief Jeff Dean and other leaders from all over the company

  • Alphabet is hosting a two-day, invite-only conference for employees and a few select speakers.
  • It's dedicated to the company's efforts in health care, primarily in research and artificial intelligence.
  • Speakers include Google AI chief Jeff Dean, cardiologist Eric Topol and former FDA commissioner Robert Califf.
Google senior fellow Jeff Dean speaks at a 2017 event in China.
Source: Chris Wong | Google
Google senior fellow Jeff Dean speaks at a 2017 event in China.

Alphabet is convening employees from across its various health units, including life-sciences R&D unit Verily and health-focused artificial intelligence project Google Brain, for an invitation-only two-day conference at the company's Sunnyvale campus.

The event showcases Alphabet's growing interest in the space. It's also one of the first times that Alphabet has organized a big gathering for its health groups, which are spread out across the organization.

Some of these teams sit within Google, like the Google Fit wearables team; home automation group Nest, which CNBC has reported is interested in health-tech scenarios, such as helping seniors living independently for longer; and Google Brain. Others are independent companies within Google holding company Alphabet, including Calico, which is doing anti-aging research, and Verily.

The keynote speakers for the Alphabet Healthcare Workshop are high-profile leaders at Google, including artificial intelligence chief Jeff Dean, who is billed to speak on Wednesday, as well as some big names in health and academia, like Robert Califf, a former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Adminstration who now advises Verily, as well as the cardiologist and author Eric Topol.

It's an opportunity for Google teams to present some of the research they've been working on and publishing in scientific journals, including efforts to diagnose disease with imaging scans and its work to analyze medical records. It's also a chance to network with others across the organization who are also interested in health, as most of the various project teams are sending over a few employees.

A Google spokesperson confirmed the two-day conference.

Alphabet is just one of the technology companies that has made moves in health in recent years. Apple is also making investments in the space, particularly in health hardware, and Amazon is looking into a number of areas, including prescription medicines, medical supplies and employer health.