Readers like you help support Android Police. When you make a purchase using links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read More.

Google demonstrated its eagerness to catch up to rivals in the burgeoning AI race by unveiling a slew of generative AI features for its Workspace apps. The company's rush to hop on that bandwagon may have been spurred by the arrival of OpenAI's ChatGPT last year and Microsoft's introduction of its chat bot-powered Bing earlier this year. The competitive pressure is now pushing Google to reportedly shake things up on the Google Assistant team with a focus on generative AI.

According to a report by Axios, Google's efforts to integrate generative AI into Assistant have begun, and it's starting by "making a small number of layoffs." An internal memo obtained by the outlet reveals that dozens of jobs within the Assistant division are being removed as part of the shift.

This could mean that Google is changing the way the Assistant team is structured and how it works in order to focus on developing new features and capabilities for the digital assistant that use generative AI. This new type of artificial intelligence can create text, images, and other content.

Reports about the search giant's growing AI ambition are nothing new, with Google apparently sidelining Assistant development as it shifts its focus to Bard. This was based on an internal memo obtained by CNBC, indicating that the Assistant division was being revamped to focus more on its ChatGPT challenger. This coincided with news of Assistant veteran Jianchang Mao's departure from the company for personal reasons.

Peeyush Ranjan, who now oversees the Assistant division, and Duke Dukellis, director of product, wrote in the memo that Google's commitment to the voice assistant stays in place. However, as Google's focus shifts to the new LLM technology, the Assistant department is feeling a little bit like the old guard.

Both Googlers said in the memo that the company has "seen the profound potential of generative AI to transform people's lives and see a huge opportunity to explore what a supercharged Assistant, powered by the latest LLM technology, would look like." The goal is to initially introduce the tech to your favorite Android phone.

Generative AI is definitely going to change the world despite some setbacks in its development, but we don't know how much yet. Google is making some big changes to Assistant to make it more generative, which could lead to some really cool new features.