DeepMind Technologies, owned by Alphabet, is closing its office in the Canadian city of Edmonton, a spokesperson for the AI firm said, just days after Google's parent announced it would lay off 12,000 employees.
London-based DeepMind's Edmonton office is the only international site directly managed by the artificial intelligence firm, making it far more resource-intensive to operate, the spokesperson said. All other DeepMind sites are housed within Google-managed offices.
Alphabet's layoffs follow thousands of layoffs at tech giants including Amazon.com Inc, Microsoft Corp and Meta Platforms Inc, which are cutting costs and downsizing after a pandemic-led hiring spree left them flabby in a weak economy.
Researchers have been offered the option to relocate to another DeepMind office, such as DeepMind Montreal, based in Google’s Montreal office, the spokesperson added.
Google acquired DeepMind in 2014, putting the tech giant ahead in the AI race than most of its peers. But competition escalated after Microsoft-backed OpenAI's chatbot ChatGPT boosted investor interest in the promise of generative artificial intelligence.
"I am confident about the huge opportunity in front of us thanks to the strength of our mission, the value of our products and services, and our early investments in AI," Alphabet Chief Executive Sundar Pichai said in the blog post on Jan 20.