Back At Google Again, Cofounder Sergey Brin Just Filed His First Code Request In Years
Thursday February 2, 2023. 11:40 PM , from Slashdot
After years of day-to-day absence, Google cofounder Sergey Brin filed a request for access to code related to the company's natural language chatbot, LaMDA. Forbes reports: Two sources said the request was related to LaMDA, Google's natural language chatbot -- a project initially announced in 2021, but which has recently garnered increased attention as Google tries to fend off rival OpenAI, which released the popular ChatGPT bot in November. Brin filed a 'CL,' short for 'changelist,' to gain access to the data that trains LaMDA, one person who saw the request said. It was a two line change to a configuration file to add his username to the code, that person said. Several dozen engineers gave the request LGTM approval, short for 'looks good to me.' Some of the approvals came from workers outside of that team, seemingly just eager to be able to say they gave code review approval to the company cofounder, that person added.
The move was a small technical change, but underscores how seriously the company is taking the looming threat from OpenAI and other competitors. Brin and cofounder Larry Page have been largely absent from the company since 2019, when Page handed the reins over to Sundar Pichai to become CEO of Google parent Alphabet. But Pichai has recently called in the company founders to review the company's AI strategy and help form a response to ChatGPT, according to the New York Times. Brin's tinkering highlights the level of involvement the cofounders have taken.
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