Google’s artificial intelligence chief departs AI| Artificial intelligence

Democratizing AI for Individuals & Organizations - 2018 SXSW Conference and Festivals

(L-R) Dr. Fei-Fei Li, Joanne Chen and Megan Smith attend Democratizing AI for Individuals & Organizations during SXSW at Austin Convention Center on March 13, 2018 in Austin, Texas. Li will be departing Google and returning to Stanford.

Hubert Vestil/Getty Images for SXSW

Google’s  guru Li Fei-Fei will be leaving the search giant and returning to her professorship at Stanford, Google Cloud’s CEO Diane Greene announced in a blog post Monday.

The respected AI researcher will be replaced by Carnegie Mellon University’s dean of computer science and former Google staffer, Andrew Moore.

Greene said Li’s departure was always planned, and added that Li will continue to serve as Google Cloud’s adviser for artificial intelligence and machine learning.

During her time with the search behemoth, Li “built a tremendous team and… innovated and [did] a remarkable job of accelerating the adoption of AI and ML by developers and Google Cloud customers,” Greene wrote in the post. She was also part of Google’s move to open an AI lab in Beijing, China.

Li’s journey with Google hadn’t always been smooth sailing, though. Controversy with Project Maven involved the AI team coming under fire for working with the Pentagon on AI and image recognition tech that could be used for drone strikes.

CNET has reached out to Google for further comment.

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