Google Ideas, a policy Google think tank has transformed into Jigsaw, a new tech incubator. However, Jigsaw is set to be included in Alphabet, not Google, and will not become a separate unit like Calico, Nest or Fiber.
The announcement was made by Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet, the parent company of Google. Schimdt posted the news on Medium by stating that the Alphabet team wishes to focus its efforts on tackling geopolitical challenges. This will cover threats made using digital attacks, online censorship and violent extremism.
This is just one of the many changes Google has made recently. After introducing Alphabet, the holding company that has become its parent, the major company changed its logo and its departments.
Google Ideas was created back in 2010 and is currently run by Jared Cohen, who will continue to do so. Cohen has previously helped build bridges between the United States State Department and the major company, since he was once a member of the policy planning staff of the State Department. The think tank was criticised in the past by activist Julian Assange for getting involved in activities that pursued changing regimes around the world.
So why is the new name Jigsaw? Schmidt has explained that the name has been chosen to raise awareness for both digital and physical challenges, but also the collaborative process based on problem-solving that will lead to the best solutions for the world.
Google Ideas has several initiatives going on. Project shield was a tool meant to prevent the denial of certain attacks on weak websites, especially in countries rules by oppressive regimes. Digital Attack Map uses visualisations of data in order to track all cyber-attacks that take place around the world. Jigsaw will feature new projects, but there is no information on these for the moment.
The think tank is expected to continue its works and actions in the same direction as before. The unit made from research scientists and engineers is exploring new ways to use technology in really helpful manners for all people of the planet. How do they plan to do this? According to Schmidt, by countering terrorism, police brutality, money laundering, human trafficking and organized crime. However, this was the focus of Google Ideas as well, so the change comes only as a rebranding.
A Google think tank has transformed into Jigsaw, for the name must better represent the ideas, focus and work of the Alphabet unit.
Image Source: Business Magazin