Google Cloud hires CMU Dean Andrew Moore as next AI chief

Moore will succeed Fei-Fei Li, who will return to her professorship at Stanford.

Andrew Moore, dean of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, is leaving his university post at the end of the year to become the chief of Google Cloud AI. He'll succeed Fei-Fei Li, who will return to her professorship at Stanford and maintain an advisory role with Google.

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Moore first joined CMU as a professor of computer science and robotics in 1993. He then joined Google from 2006 through 2014, helping the Silicon Valley giant open its Pittsburgh campus. In his new role at Google, he'll remain in Pittsburgh.

Major tech companies like Google and Facebook have taken some heat for hiring academics, leaving them with less time to teach the next generation of researchers. CMU President Farnam Jahanian said in a statement that the university supports Moore's move to Google.

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"In addition to advancing CMU's vision for the transformative potential of AI, Andrew is exemplifying the Carnegie Mellon ideal of taking ideas developed at the university and applying them to real-world environments," Jahanian said. "Pursuing a shared understanding of the vital role of AI in the 21st century will also continue to strengthen our long-standing partnership with Google."

In a blog post, Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene stressed that the Google Cloud AI group "aims to democratize AI" to "spur innovation that will benefit everyone."

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While Google of course stresses the positive impact its AI group can have in the field, the team came under fire earlier this year, both from Google employees and from people outside of the organization, for its contract selling AI technology to the Pentagon. The New York Times reported that Li advised against public discussions of its AI sales to the military. After facing the blowback, Google published a set of principles stating it will not design or deploy AI for weapons.

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