Published in AI

Google slashes Area 120 projects

by on15 September 2022

In-house AI takes a back seat

Google confirmed the company is slashing projects at its in-house R&D division known as Area 120. 

The company informed staff of a "reduction in force" which will see the incubator halved in size, as half the teams working on new product innovations heard their projects were being canceled -- 14 projects housed in Area 120, have been cut to seven.

Employees whose projects will not continue were told they'll need to find a new job within Google by the end of January 2023, or they'll be terminated, we assume they mean jobwise.

Area 120 lead Elias Roman said that the division was focused to only AI-first projects which will have a limited shelf life in other Google areas.

The other six projects being canceled weren't yet launched, but included a financial accounting project for Google Sheets, another shopping-related product, analytics for AR/VR, and, unfortunately, three climate-related projects. These latter projects had focused on EV car charging maps with routing, carbon accounting for I.T., and carbon measurement of forests.

Google said: "Area 120 is an in-house incubator for experimental new products. The group regularly starts and stops projects with an eye toward pursuing the most promising opportunities. We've recently shared that Area 120 will be shifting its focus to projects that build on Google's deep investment in AI and have the potential to solve important user problems. As a result, Area 120 is winding down several projects to make way for new work. Impacted team members will receive dedicated support as they explore new projects and opportunities at Google."


Last modified on 15 September 2022
Rate this item
(1 Vote)

Read more about: