Leaked audio: Google cofounder Sergey Brin made a rare appearance at an all-hands to hype up the company’s AI work and the incoming ‘technology revolution’

  • Google cofounder Sergey Brin made a surprise appearance at the company’s recent all-hands meeting.
  • Brin talked about the “profound” change of AI and the company’s early days.
  • Brin has been working on Google’s upcoming Gemini AI model.

Sergey Brin, Google’s cofounder, is back at the search giant, hyping up its AI work at “TGIF” meetings.

Brin appeared onstage on September 26 during a special 25th-anniversary edition of Google’s monthly all-hands meeting (dubbed “TGIF,” or Thank God It’s Friday). Insider obtained a recording of Brin receiving rapturous applause from employees.

At the meeting, Google executives reflected on the company’s past 25 years, and Brin spent about five minutes discussing the “profound” changes he had seen with AI and joking about the company’s earlier, scrappier days.

“I know many of you are far deeper into this work than I am, but it’s just a very profound time to be alive and to be part of this technology revolution, so I’m super excited for the next 25 years, just as now we celebrate the last 25,” Brin told the attendees.

Many Googlers had never seen anything like it. Brin and his cofounder, Larry Page, left the company in 2019, leaving CEO Sundar Pichai in charge of Google and its parent company, Alphabet.

According to multiple people who worked with him there, Brin has been showing up at the company’s Mountain View, California, headquarters in recent months to work on Google’s next-generation Gemini AI model. According to the Wall Street Journal, Brin has also been involved in the hiring of researchers.

A Google spokesperson declined to comment on the meeting last week.

According to Brin, an AI revolution is on the way.

Brin recalled his days as a computer scientist in the 1990s, when researchers didn’t have to worry as much about computational power. He also mentioned Douglas Adams’ book “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” in which a supercomputer reveals the answer to life and the universe is “42” and is then instructed to build an even bigger supercomputer to determine the question.

“That’s kind of what I feel like we’re doing today, to be honest,” Brin replied. “I mean, some of these giant ML models we have been training over many years, from translation to image processing to the ad systems and search, are starting to push the bounds of ‘What does intelligence really mean?’ and ‘What can we achieve with just more and more computation and more and more brilliant ideas?'”

“So I find myself now just at the cusp of this real revolution, and I imagine many of you feel the same way,” Brin said.

Brin reflected on Google’s early days.

Brin joked about the early days of developing a neural network to recognize cats with Jeff Dean, the company’s chief of AI, and Andrew Ng, a former Google colleague.

Brin said Dean “was in a little corner, kept showing me cats, and saying, ‘Wow, this is amazing,’ which didn’t seem that impressive at the time.”

“I didn’t want to say anything because I trust Jeff,” Brin said. “He is an outstanding computer scientist.” ‘Wow, that’s so cool, Jeff,’ I thought. But now that you’ve explained it, and it’s been trained completely unsupervised, and it can recognize cats and has a neuron for cats, I should probably read that paper.”

Brin also made fun of TGIF, which is usually held on a Thursday, being held on a Tuesday.

“When we started, it was actually on Fridays and then it made its way to Tuesday,” Brin explained. “In a few years, I think we’ll be back on Friday.”

Meanwhile, if anyone has seen Larry Page, please contact us.

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