Google "DeepMind" AI Chief Placed On Leave..

Discussion of anything and everything relating to chess playing software and machines.

Moderators: bob, hgm, Harvey Williamson

Forum rules
This textbox is used to restore diagrams posted with the [d] tag before the upgrade.
supersharp77
Posts: 755
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 5:54 am
Location: Southwest USA

Google "DeepMind" AI Chief Placed On Leave..

Post by supersharp77 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:07 pm

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... jects.html

"Over 500 Million Dollars in Losses"

"Co-founder of Google's artificial intelligence lab DeepMind takes leave of absence amid 'controversy over projects he's overseen' and company losses of $571 million
Mustafa Suleyman, 34, has taken a leave of absense from DeepMind, an artificial intelligence lab owned by Google's parent company Alphabet
Suleyman runs DeepMind's 'applied' division, which deals with health, energy and technology sectors
A spokesman said he was taking a 'time out', adding it was a mutual decision
It is expected that Suleyman, who is in his 30s, will return by the end of the year
Suleyman’s team had been responsible for finding ways for DeepMind to make money, working on a text-to-speech service for Google Cloud
However, earlier this month DeepMind’s losses rose 55 percent to $571 million
The company he founded may be owned by one of the world’s largest companies, however Suleyman has said ‘capitalism is a failing society’
His ambition with DeepMind is to ‘solve the world’s toughest problems’, making no mention of how such ventures could be profitable" (DailyMail)

"Suleyman founded DeepMind in 2010 alongside current Chief Executive Officer Demis Hassabis.

Four years later, Google bought out the company for $486 million, which led to an expensive race in Silicon Valley for specialists in the field of Artificial Intelligence.

Reports of Suleyman’s hiatus Wednesday sparked speculation of a rift between Google and DeepMind over how to commercialize their AI products.

Suleyman’s team had essentially been responsible for finding ways for DeepMind to make money, working on a text-to-speech service for Google Cloud and cutting Google’s data center cooling costs.

However, earlier this month, the Financial Times reported that DeepMind’s losses had risen 55 percent to $571 million, credited largely to a series of aggressive bids made by Suleyman to secure the world’s brightest artificial intelligence minds under DeepMind's payroll."

Wow...Well my Friends this doesn't sound too good at all... How much did the Alpha Zero Project Cost I wonder? :) :wink:

Werewolf
Posts: 1197
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:24 pm

Re: Google "DeepMind" AI Chief Placed On Leave..

Post by Werewolf » Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:19 pm

A lot of that is calculated though. Pretty sure their costs were climbing as research went on, probably just went too far.

chrisw
Posts: 2134
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:28 pm

Re: Google "DeepMind" AI Chief Placed On Leave..

Post by chrisw » Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:39 pm

As far as one can tell, the owners of Google, Alphabet, make 100 billion sales, 30 billion profits annually. Their entire future rests on staying cutting edge, hence the big spend buying up broad swathes of highly qualified talent, preferably all of it, I think is the line taken. If this costs 0.5 billion a year, well, they won’t be able to stop, or cut back, they have no choice but to continue paying out, anything else would be to give up. 0.5 billion out of 30 billion profits is nothing, they would be spending more, if they knew what to spend it on, which is basically the problem.

Milos
Posts: 3387
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:47 am

Re: Google "DeepMind" AI Chief Placed On Leave..

Post by Milos » Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:56 am

supersharp77 wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:07 pm
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... jects.html

"Over 500 Million Dollars in Losses"

"Co-founder of Google's artificial intelligence lab DeepMind takes leave of absence amid 'controversy over projects he's overseen' and company losses of $571 million
Mustafa Suleyman, 34, has taken a leave of absense from DeepMind, an artificial intelligence lab owned by Google's parent company Alphabet
Suleyman runs DeepMind's 'applied' division, which deals with health, energy and technology sectors
A spokesman said he was taking a 'time out', adding it was a mutual decision
It is expected that Suleyman, who is in his 30s, will return by the end of the year
Suleyman’s team had been responsible for finding ways for DeepMind to make money, working on a text-to-speech service for Google Cloud
However, earlier this month DeepMind’s losses rose 55 percent to $571 million
The company he founded may be owned by one of the world’s largest companies, however Suleyman has said ‘capitalism is a failing society’
His ambition with DeepMind is to ‘solve the world’s toughest problems’, making no mention of how such ventures could be profitable" (DailyMail)

"Suleyman founded DeepMind in 2010 alongside current Chief Executive Officer Demis Hassabis.

Four years later, Google bought out the company for $486 million, which led to an expensive race in Silicon Valley for specialists in the field of Artificial Intelligence.

Reports of Suleyman’s hiatus Wednesday sparked speculation of a rift between Google and DeepMind over how to commercialize their AI products.

Suleyman’s team had essentially been responsible for finding ways for DeepMind to make money, working on a text-to-speech service for Google Cloud and cutting Google’s data center cooling costs.

However, earlier this month, the Financial Times reported that DeepMind’s losses had risen 55 percent to $571 million, credited largely to a series of aggressive bids made by Suleyman to secure the world’s brightest artificial intelligence minds under DeepMind's payroll."

Wow...Well my Friends this doesn't sound too good at all... How much did the Alpha Zero Project Cost I wonder? :) :wink:
I never even understood in the first place, how a guy that knows practically nothing about programming or actual AI research could be a CPO of a leading AI company.
Demis Hassabis and especially Shane Legg (as a curiosity I actually attended his PhD defence ;)) are really bright guys and world-class experts in the field, but this Mustafa Suleyman looks like nothing but a totally shady guy.

Milos
Posts: 3387
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:47 am

Re: Google "DeepMind" AI Chief Placed On Leave..

Post by Milos » Sat Aug 24, 2019 1:01 am

chrisw wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:39 pm
As far as one can tell, the owners of Google, Alphabet, make 100 billion sales, 30 billion profits annually. Their entire future rests on staying cutting edge, hence the big spend buying up broad swathes of highly qualified talent, preferably all of it, I think is the line taken. If this costs 0.5 billion a year, well, they won’t be able to stop, or cut back, they have no choice but to continue paying out, anything else would be to give up. 0.5 billion out of 30 billion profits is nothing, they would be spending more, if they knew what to spend it on, which is basically the problem.
Well, taking into consideration that just this year alone DeepMind made more losses than the money Google paid to buy them, and also considering that Google probably already absorbed any useful expertise from this company, it really is questionable whether Google should continue servicing its debt.
These guys from DeepMind obviously have some deeper philosophy of "making the world a better place by using AI".
Google on the other hand is probably nothing but the worst morally corrupt money grabbing monopolist company in IT in the world. Considering this, I really don't see how DeepMind can continue existing inside Google much longer.

chrisw
Posts: 2134
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:28 pm

Re: Google "DeepMind" AI Chief Placed On Leave..

Post by chrisw » Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:05 am

Milos wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:56 am
supersharp77 wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:07 pm
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... jects.html

"Over 500 Million Dollars in Losses"

"Co-founder of Google's artificial intelligence lab DeepMind takes leave of absence amid 'controversy over projects he's overseen' and company losses of $571 million
Mustafa Suleyman, 34, has taken a leave of absense from DeepMind, an artificial intelligence lab owned by Google's parent company Alphabet
Suleyman runs DeepMind's 'applied' division, which deals with health, energy and technology sectors
A spokesman said he was taking a 'time out', adding it was a mutual decision
It is expected that Suleyman, who is in his 30s, will return by the end of the year
Suleyman’s team had been responsible for finding ways for DeepMind to make money, working on a text-to-speech service for Google Cloud
However, earlier this month DeepMind’s losses rose 55 percent to $571 million
The company he founded may be owned by one of the world’s largest companies, however Suleyman has said ‘capitalism is a failing society’
His ambition with DeepMind is to ‘solve the world’s toughest problems’, making no mention of how such ventures could be profitable" (DailyMail)

"Suleyman founded DeepMind in 2010 alongside current Chief Executive Officer Demis Hassabis.

Four years later, Google bought out the company for $486 million, which led to an expensive race in Silicon Valley for specialists in the field of Artificial Intelligence.

Reports of Suleyman’s hiatus Wednesday sparked speculation of a rift between Google and DeepMind over how to commercialize their AI products.

Suleyman’s team had essentially been responsible for finding ways for DeepMind to make money, working on a text-to-speech service for Google Cloud and cutting Google’s data center cooling costs.

However, earlier this month, the Financial Times reported that DeepMind’s losses had risen 55 percent to $571 million, credited largely to a series of aggressive bids made by Suleyman to secure the world’s brightest artificial intelligence minds under DeepMind's payroll."

Wow...Well my Friends this doesn't sound too good at all... How much did the Alpha Zero Project Cost I wonder? :) :wink:
I never even understood in the first place, how a guy that knows practically nothing about programming or actual AI research could be a CPO of a leading AI company.
Demis Hassabis and especially Shane Legg (as a curiosity I actually attended his PhD defence ;)) are really bright guys and world-class experts in the field, but this Mustafa Suleyman looks like nothing but a totally shady guy.
that’s like telling us a bus company has to be run by someone who can drive buses, or an airline company has to be run by a pilot. In fact there is probably nothing worse that programmers running software companies.

“looks like shady” is chronically subjective comment. I’ld imagine there are far deeper reasons for this situation. Like, they’ve expanded very fast, taking on much talent, or all the talent even, Much of that will be dross, people who bullshit, and it takes time and skill to weed those out. Secondly, deepmind is trying to be a university, basically, but also it is supposed to do stuff, so it has software engineers who were never intended to be creative, and creative brain people, who are intended to be creative. The former get told what to do, the latter are supposed to b self-driving. When you’re burning money at 0.5 billion, there’s going to be pressure to rationalise and weed out the dross. There’s also the problem of “what to do” with all this talent. I doubt there’s enough be generated at various stages of advancing AI, so they hit bottlenecks and ceilings after a while. All this requires management (definitely not by programmers btw). I would guess it’s an over-growth rationalisation and reorganization crisis which will be overcome, because it has to be overcome and because Google have got so much money, they need to be deploying it. Deepmind would have to become utterly hopeless before they’ld even consider shelving it. What else is google to do, but employ all the smart researcher class and hope they find things before FB and all the other cash rich software AI media companies beat them to it.

chrisw
Posts: 2134
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:28 pm

Re: Google "DeepMind" AI Chief Placed On Leave..

Post by chrisw » Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:10 am

Milos wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 1:01 am
chrisw wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:39 pm
As far as one can tell, the owners of Google, Alphabet, make 100 billion sales, 30 billion profits annually. Their entire future rests on staying cutting edge, hence the big spend buying up broad swathes of highly qualified talent, preferably all of it, I think is the line taken. If this costs 0.5 billion a year, well, they won’t be able to stop, or cut back, they have no choice but to continue paying out, anything else would be to give up. 0.5 billion out of 30 billion profits is nothing, they would be spending more, if they knew what to spend it on, which is basically the problem.
Well, taking into consideration that just this year alone DeepMind made more losses than the money Google paid to buy them, and also considering that Google probably already absorbed any useful expertise from this company, it really is questionable whether Google should continue servicing its debt.
These guys from DeepMind obviously have some deeper philosophy of "making the world a better place by using AI".
Google on the other hand is probably nothing but the worst morally corrupt money grabbing monopolist company in IT in the world. Considering this, I really don't see how DeepMind can continue existing inside Google much longer.
google doesn’t have any debt to service. you mean “carry on shelling out for the huge wages bill”. They don’t have any choice. Only choice is to rationalise, get rid of the dross (usually half of all programmers are lying to their managers/employers and do nothing constructive) and manage what they’ve got, better.

jp
Posts: 825
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:54 am

Re: Google "DeepMind" AI Chief Placed On Leave..

Post by jp » Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:46 am

Gary Marcus:
Still, the rising magnitude of DeepMind’s losses is worth considering: $154 million in 2016, $341 million in 2017, $572 million in 2018. In my view, there are three central questions: Is DeepMind on the right track scientifically? Are investments of this magnitude sound from Alphabet’s perspective? And how will the losses affect AI in general?

On the first question, there is reason for skepticism. DeepMind has been putting most of its eggs in one basket, a technique known as deep reinforcement learning. That technique combines deep learning, primarily used for recognizing patterns, with reinforcement learning, geared around learning based on reward signals, such as a score in a game or victory or defeat in a game like chess.
The trouble is, the technique is very specific to narrow circumstances. ... To switch characters, you need to retrain the system from scratch.

In some ways, deep reinforcement learning is a kind of turbocharged memorization; systems that use it are capable of awesome feats, but they have only a shallow understanding of what they are doing. As a consequence, current systems lack flexibility, and thus are unable to compensate if the world changes, sometimes even in tiny ways.
Deep reinforcement learning also requires a huge amount of data—e.g., millions of self-played games of Go. ... By one estimate, the training time for AlphaGo cost $35 million
In part because few real-world problems are as constrained as the games on which DeepMind has focused, DeepMind has yet to find any large-scale commercial application of deep reinforcement learning. So far Alphabet has invested roughly $2 billion (including the reported $650 million purchase price in 2014). The direct financial return, not counting publicity, has been modest by comparison, about $125 million of revenue last year

Milos
Posts: 3387
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:47 am

Re: Google "DeepMind" AI Chief Placed On Leave..

Post by Milos » Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:50 am

chrisw wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:10 am
Milos wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 1:01 am
chrisw wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:39 pm
As far as one can tell, the owners of Google, Alphabet, make 100 billion sales, 30 billion profits annually. Their entire future rests on staying cutting edge, hence the big spend buying up broad swathes of highly qualified talent, preferably all of it, I think is the line taken. If this costs 0.5 billion a year, well, they won’t be able to stop, or cut back, they have no choice but to continue paying out, anything else would be to give up. 0.5 billion out of 30 billion profits is nothing, they would be spending more, if they knew what to spend it on, which is basically the problem.
Well, taking into consideration that just this year alone DeepMind made more losses than the money Google paid to buy them, and also considering that Google probably already absorbed any useful expertise from this company, it really is questionable whether Google should continue servicing its debt.
These guys from DeepMind obviously have some deeper philosophy of "making the world a better place by using AI".
Google on the other hand is probably nothing but the worst morally corrupt money grabbing monopolist company in IT in the world. Considering this, I really don't see how DeepMind can continue existing inside Google much longer.
google doesn’t have any debt to service. you mean “carry on shelling out for the huge wages bill”. They don’t have any choice. Only choice is to rationalise, get rid of the dross (usually half of all programmers are lying to their managers/employers and do nothing constructive) and manage what they’ve got, better.
Well servicing losses in the correct phrase since there is simply no way one makes 500 million loss by paying wages. DeepMind has 700 employees. So even if average salary is 300k, which is highly unlikely, that is only 200 million for salaries. So where did those 300 million go?
Simple answer, financing the cost of dubious projects led by the very shady incompetent Mustafa Suleyman.

And sorry but you are wrong about that guy. You can't be a successful CPO of an essentially highly specialized research cutting-edge hi-tech company worth half a billion at age of 26 and in the same time be clueless about actual technology your company is developing. DeepMind is not selling stupid apps, advertising stuff or collecting and selling user data so that a shady guy like Mustafa Suleyman could be successful as CPO.

jdart
Posts: 3826
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 4:23 am
Location: http://www.arasanchess.org

Re: Google "DeepMind" AI Chief Placed On Leave..

Post by jdart » Sat Aug 24, 2019 1:15 pm

Google is not really saying why he is going on leave. I don't think the operating losses are the reason. Google (and especially its parent company Alphabet) has the business model of starting a lot of projects. They tolerate losses for quite a while, but they eventually kill off the ones that don't take off, even some that were widely adopted. They don't blame the project members or execs for failure: they expect a lot of failure.

My guess is maybe it is a personnel issue - Google has a pretty bad rep as a place that has tolerated various kinds of sexual harassment etc. They are trying to clean up their act a little. I don't want to speculate further but it could be some reason other than being a poor performing exec.

Post Reply