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Google loses AI experts to most secret AI team on Earth

Google loses some of its best engineers to one of the most secretive AI project startups
By Anthony Garreffa from Apr 21, 2017 @ 22:07 CDT

Google had some of its best engineers on its Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) project, but some of them have departed the search giant for one of the most secretive AI projects in the world.




The engineers left Google, teaming with one of Silicon Valley's top venture capitalists, Chamath Palihapitiya. The company that Palihapitiya lured the engineers to is called Groq Inc., at least for now - but there's little known about Groq. There are a few SEC filings from October and December, with the company raising $10.3 million. In its SEC documents, Groq named three principals: Jonathan Ross, who helped invent the TPU, Douglas Wightman, an entrepreneur and former engineer at the Google X "moonshot factory" and Palihapitiya, the founder of investment firm Social Capital. The listed address is Social Capital's headquarters, reports CNBC.


Palihapitiya said in an email: "We're really excited about Groq. It's too early to talk specifics, but we think what they're building could become a fundamental building block for the next generation of computing". The fundamental building block for the next generation of computing? Alright, now I'm excited.


During an interview on Squawk Box, Palihapitiya said: "They randomly mentioned that they built their own chip for AI and I thought, what is going on here, why is Google competing with Intel?". Last month, Palihapitiya said that the innovation of driving towards the next big leap in processors "can empower companies like Facebook and Amazon, Tesla, the government to do things with machine learning and computers that nobody could do before".


Bring it on.


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