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Google Assistant Unit 'Reorganized' to Implement AI

The company decided on some layoffs in its assistant unit to prioritize AI usage in the field.

Google Assistant has been reorganized to implement AI technology.
Creator: Peter Dasilva Credit: Reuters

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – Tech giant Google reorganized its assistant unit to prioritize AI usage on August 1, which resulted in several layoffs. The changes were mainly made in Google’s voice technology units. Even though some employees were re-positioned at a different team, some were laid off.


The changes were announced by an email to employees from Google’s Vice President of Engineering Assistant Peeyush Ranjan. In his email, Ranjan ensured the reorganization would include a “small number of layoffs.” He added that the company wants to incorporate a large language model into its voice-powered assistant.


Supercharging Google Assistant


Google’s smart assistant has been successfully working for the past seven years. Google said it was time to “supercharge” the already successful smart assistant with the new advancements of AI.


In his email, Ranjan wrote:


“As a team, we need to focus on delivering high-quality, critical product experiences for our users. We’ve also seen the profound potential of generative AI to transform people’s lives and see a huge opportunity to explore what a supercharged Assistant, powered by the LLM technology, would look like.”

Most of the replacements were made in Google’s “speech” team, which oversees voice commands for the company. The head of Speech at Google, Francoise Beaufays, wrote a separate email to his team where he stated:


“This is an exciting moment for AI, with nearly every product demanding world-class AI-driven Speech,”

Overall, the executives at Google expressed that they believed this change would increase the assistant’s speed and focus. The employees laid off were also given 60 days to look for a new position within Google.


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