Google Merges Teams to Form Google Deepmind for AI Breakthroughs

Google has announced the formation of a new business unit, Google DeepMind, aimed at advancing the development of artificial intelligence (AI) in a safe and responsible manner. The unit is the result of a merger between Google’s Brain team and London-based AI company DeepMind, which Google acquired in 2014.

According to Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, the merger is intended to “significantly accelerate our progress in AI.” By combining Google’s AI talent into one focused team, Pichai hopes to create breakthroughs and products that can shape the future of AI.

To achieve this goal, Pichai has appointed Chief Scientist Jeff Dean to lead the development of powerful, multimodal AI models. Dean, who will report directly to Pichai, has been tasked with building a team that can accelerate the company’s progress in AI and create products that are both safe and responsible.

The new business unit, Google DeepMind, will focus on developing AI technologies that can be applied to a wide range of industries, from healthcare and finance to transportation and communication. This includes developing algorithms that can improve the accuracy of medical diagnoses, predicting stock prices with greater accuracy, and enhancing the capabilities of self-driving cars.

One of the key challenges in AI development is ensuring that the technology is used in a safe and responsible manner. This includes ensuring that AI models are not biased or discriminatory and that they are transparent and explainable. Google DeepMind will be dedicated to developing AI technologies that are both safe and transparent, with the goal of promoting the responsible use of AI across industries.

In addition to developing new AI breakthroughs and products, Google DeepMind will also focus on training the next generation of AI experts. This includes partnering with universities and research institutions to provide training and education in AI technologies.

The formation of Google DeepMind is part of Google’s broader strategy to become a leader in AI development. The company has been investing heavily in AI research and development over the past decade, and has already made significant breakthroughs in areas such as natural language processing and computer vision.

By creating a dedicated business unit for AI development, Google hopes to accelerate its progress in this field and create breakthroughs and products that can have a significant impact on society. With Jeff Dean at the helm, Google DeepMind is poised to become a leading force in AI development and shape the future of the industry for years to come.


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Google Struggles with Ad Revenue as Crypto Firms Reduce Spending

Alphabet said that reduced advertising spending by crypto companies has undermined Google’s revenue growth during the third quarter of 2022.

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The ongoing crypto winter has brought a slowdown in ad spending, as the overall market sentiment has turned negative since the beginning of 2022. Many companies have gone bankrupt, such as Celsius Network, and other crypto companies have become hesitant to invest during this market downturn period.

According to Google’s chief business officer Philipp Schindler, other financial firms have also become hesitant in spending on ads.

“In the third quarter, we did see a pullback in spend by some advertisers in certain areas in search,” Schindler said. “For example, in financial services, we saw a pullback in the insurance, loan, mortgage, and crypto subcategories.”

According to Alphabet’s third-quarter earnings call, Google saw a 6% slowdown in revenue growth from 41% a year earlier. Besides the one quarter at the beginning of the pandemic, this result was the weakest for any period since 2013.

CEO Sundar Pichai stated that the “challenging macro climate” has affected Google’s ad business.

However, Schindler did not specify how ad pullback from crypto companies has affected Google’s revenue.

But the overall drawback of investors from the crypto industry is the plausible reason. As the crypto industry struggles, many investors are fleeing from risky assets and selling out digital coins and related stocks.

Popular digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum have both lost about 60% of their value in 2022. While popular crypto exchange Coinbase is down by 70%.

Google, however, believes that the ongoing crypto winter is a short-term crisis and opportunities for growth shall rise again in the future.

In early October, Google teamed up with Coinbase to allow some of its clients to pay for cloud services using cryptocurrencies.

The strategic partnership also seeks to cater for the needs of the growing Web3 ecosystem. For instance, developers will have the chance to reliably and instantly operate Web3 networks, eliminating the need for complex and expensive infrastructure. 

The collaboration will also see Google Cloud serve as Coinbase’s strategic cloud provider to boost enhanced exchange and data services. Per the report: “Coinbase will use Google Cloud’s powerful compute platform to process blockchain data at scale and enhance the global reach of its crypto services by leveraging Google’s premium fibre-optic network.”

Furthermore, Coinbase’s clients will leverage Google Cloud’s data and analytics technologies for machine learning-driven crypto insights.

Google set the ball rolling in Web3 after it assembled a team to create services for developers earlier this year. 

Image source: Shutterstock


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Google invests $1B in CME Group along with 10-year Cloud deal

Google’s parent company Alphabet has made a $1 billion equity investment in the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group, the exchange responsible for many crypto derivatives products.

In a Nov. 4 notice to investors, the CME Group announced the $1 billion investment from Alphabet in addition to a 10-year strategic partnership with Google Cloud aimed at accelerating the exchange’s move to the cloud and changing the way global derivatives markets operate. Google made the investment through the company’s nonvoting convertible preferred stock.

“Through this long-term partnership with Google Cloud, CME Group will transform derivatives markets through technology, expanding access and creating efficiencies for all market participants,” said CME Group chair and CEO Terry Duffy. “This partnership will enable CME Group to bring new products and services to market faster.”

The CME Group was behind the first Bitcoin (BTC) futures contract launched in December 2017. Since that time, the exchange has continued expanding its offerings of crypto derivatives to include micro BTC futures, BTC options, and micro Ether (ETH) futures, expected to launch on Dec. 6.

Related: Cryptocurrency derivatives market shows growth despite regulatory FUD

According to data from CME Group, the average daily volume in its Bitcoin futures


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MicroStrategy’s Bitcoin treasury exceeds cash held by 80% of S&P 500 non-financial companies

The value of MicroStrategy’s massive Bitcoin (BTC) holdings has surpassed what most S&P 500 companies hold in their cash treasuries.

The Nasdaq-listed enterprise software firm purchased an additional 5,050 Bitcoin for about $242.9 million, raising the value of its 114,042 BTC holdings to nearly $5.3 billion. That comes out to be higher than what 80% of non-financial S&P 500 companies hold in their cash coffers, as per data compiled by Bloomberg.

Cash spending up among corporations

MicroStrategy made buying Bitcoin its official corporate strategy in 2020, with its celebrated CEO, Michael Saylor, calling the move a defense against the U.S. dollar’s potential devaluation. Companies like Tesla and Square later copied the strategy to replace a portion of cash reserves with Bitcoin.

On the other hand, firms with lower risk appetites continued to increase their cash holdings. For instance, in the second quarter, non-financial companies on the S&P 500 boosted their treasuries by 12% from a year ago due to escalating uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cash holdings by non-financial S&P 500 companies in recent quarters. Source: Bloomberg

Some of those firms — including General Electric, Ford and Boeing — started spending the cash during the ongoing third quarter. For instance, in July, non-financial S&P 500 companies slashed their dollar reserves by $30 billion, or 2%, from a year ago.

At the same time, companies like Amazon and Alphabet (Google’s parent company) were still amassing cash but did little to change overall dollar spending. The total cash stockpiles held by United States corporations fell to $1.52 trillion from $1.55 trillion as they acquired new businesses, bought back shares and increased dividends, Bloomberg data reveals.

Overall, the declining cash holding trend shows that publicly traded companies have become more comfortable with spending their money, led by expectations that the COVID-19 pandemic is almost over.

MSTR gives de facto Bitcoin exposure

Shares of MicroStrategy have surged by almost 359% in the past 12 months, in lockstep with Bitcoin, whose value has surged by 314% in the same period.

Since MSTR appreciation has outpaced Bitcoin’s price growth, some analysts believe that owning shares gives investors easier exposure to the benchmark cryptocurrency market through traditional infrastructure.

MicroStrategy vs. Bitcoin vs. Nasdaq. Source: Ecoinometrics

“It’s no secret that MSTR is being valued above the NAV [net asset value] of coins currently owned, and I don’t think investors are buying it for the legacy business upside,” said analyst Kingdom Capital.

“The [clearest] reason I can see is it is one of the few companies with a large market capitalization in the BTC space.”

For instance, the Amplify Transformational Data Sharing ETF, which manages $1.2 billion worth of investments, has gained 6.5% exposure in MSTR after snubbing Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, the leading Bitcoin investment vehicle in the U.S. that trades over-the-counter, which restricts it from receiving capital from certain funds and exchange-traded funds.

Similarly, the Siren Nasdaq NexGen Economy ETF has exposure to MSTR but holds no GBTC.

Related: MicroStrategy stock flips bullish with MSTR a Bitcoin ‘proxy’ for institutional investors

As a result, MicroStrategy stock and Bitcoin prices


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Bitcoin (BTC) $ 27,106.26 0.36%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 1,676.87 0.01%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 66.55 0.21%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 235.39 0.12%