Google AI lead steps down as part of unit reshuffle
According to The Information, the lead of Google's AI and Search Units, John Giannandrea, will be stepping down following a two year stint as part of an internal business reshuffle.
Giannandrea will be replaced by two new executives, with Jeff Dean, the Cofounder of Google Brain heading up the firm's AI unit, whilst Ben Gomes, an 18 year-long veteran of the company, will be taking over its Search unit, with Giannandrea's role set to be split.
The shuffle will see Google's AI efforts becoming a separate division within itself, part of the company's focus of ramping up its technological advancements.
This has also recently been reflected in the launch of the Google Brain team and its acquisition of DeepMind in 2014.
According to The Information, the reshuffle will be reflected in a company wide push to improve its search unit, sell more hardware devices and further bolster and diversify its fast-growing cloud-based AI service offerings.
Discord buys Sentropy to fight against hate and abuse online
Discord, a popular chat app, has acquired the software company Sentropy to bolster its efforts to combat online abuse and harassment. Sentropy, monitors online networks for abuse and harassment, then offers users a way to block problematic people and filter out messages they don’t want to see.
First launched in 2015 and currently boasting 150 million monthly active users, Discord plans to integrate Sentropy’s own products into its existing toolkit and the company will also bring the smaller company’s leadership group aboard. Discord currently uses a “multilevel” approach to moderation, and a Trust and Safety (T&S) team dedicated to protecting users and shaping content moderation policies comprised 15% of Discord’s workforce as of May 2020.
“T&S tech and processes should not be used as a competitive advantage,” Sentropy CEO John Redgrave said in a blog post on the announcement. “We all deserve digital and physical safety, and moderators deserve better tooling to help them do one of the hardest jobs online more effectively and with fewer harmful impacts.”
Cleanse platforms of online harassment and abuse
Redgrave elaborated on the company’s natural connection with Discord: “Discord represents the next generation of social companies — a generation where users are not the product to be sold, but the engine of connectivity, creativity, and growth. In this model, user privacy and user safety are essential product features, not an afterthought. The success of this model depends upon building next-generation Trust and Safety into every product. We don’t take this responsibility lightly and are humbled to work at the scale of Discord and with Discord’s resources to increase the depth of our impact.”
Sentropy launched out of stealth last summer with an AI system designed to detect, track and cleanse platforms of online harassment and abuse. The company emerged then with $13 million in funding from notable backers including Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and his VC firm Initialized Capital, King River Capital, Horizons Ventures and Playground Global.
“We are excited to help Discord decide how we can most effectively share with the rest of the Internet the best practices, technology, and tools that we’ve developed to protect our own communities,” Redgrave said.