Google is combining its Android software and Pixel hardware divisions to more broadly integrate AI

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Google recently announced a significant change in its organizational structure, aiming to enhance innovation and leverage artificial intelligence (AI) across its products. The tech giant is merging its software division, responsible for Android and Chrome, with its hardware division, which handles Pixel smartphones and Fitbit wearables.

This integration, overseen by Rick Osterloh, the former head of Google’s hardware group, signifies a strategic shift towards prioritizing AI development. Previously, Google kept software and hardware teams separate to ensure fairness to other smartphone manufacturers. However, with AI becoming increasingly crucial for product enhancement, Google seeks to streamline collaboration between software and hardware experts.

Osterloh emphasized that combining these teams will accelerate the incorporation of AI into Google’s products, citing examples like the Pixel camera’s night mode and intelligent photo selection, where AI significantly enhances user experience. This move underscores Google’s ambition to lead in AI technology, intending to integrate AI across consumer gadgets and business solutions.

Hiroshi Lockheimer, previously in charge of Google’s software division, will embark on new projects following this restructuring. Osterloh and Lockheimer stress that these changes are not about power dynamics but rather about improving Google’s products for users.

Additionally, Google is reorganizing its AI research and development groups, reflecting its commitment to integrating AI across its operations. While these changes may not immediately impact consumer products, they demonstrate Google’s dedication to making AI a central component of its ecosystem.

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