W hen Google bought DeepMind, a London-based technology start-up, five years ago, it claimed it would preserve the company's autonomy. It would set up an independent ethics board for the artificial intelligence company. After Google’s restructuring to Alphabet, it would be part of the holding company, rather than under Google's umbrella. It would even prevent Google staff from entering DeepMind offices. But any illusion of Deepmind’s independence disappeared last week as one of the its co-founders, Mustafa Suleyman, had taken leave in a mutual decision with the firm. "Mustafa's taking some time out right now after ten hectic years,” a DeepMind spokesperson said. It is a situation Patrick Pichette probably could have foreseen. Google’s former chief financial officer was involved in striking the deal. Now, he says, he actively advises companies against selling out early. "My counsel is, why would you sell yourself?" Montreal-born Pichette says. "You'll be caught in the big cog of Amazon or Google when you could actually control your own destiny, be independent, build what you want to build." Of course, from the Google side of things, DeepMind was seen as a "steal", the chance to tap into a goldmine of talented data scientists. But, he says, there was so… Read full this story
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