Google’s very own think tank, Google Ideas has changed its name to Jigsaw and is now a standalone technology incubator under Alphabet. The project will continue operating along the lines of Google labs various social and political welfare based initiatives.
Speaking on the topic, Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said,
Today we’re announcing the expansion of Google Ideas, Google’s think tank, as a technology incubator called Jigsaw. The team’s mission is to use technology to tackle the toughest geopolitical challenges, from countering violent extremism to thwarting online censorship to mitigating the threats associated with digital attacks.
The change has taken place and is visible across all of Google Idea related virtual properties including its Google+ and Twitter profiles. The main website — which until now pointed to an Idea page — also redirects you to the Jigsaw Webpage.
There have not been any particular hierarchial changes following the nomenclature shift, and Jared Cohen will continue to lead Jigsaw as President and advisor to Eric Schmidt.
Despite not being overly popular among the masses, Google Ideas has been quietly working in various important niches. Many of its project have left their impact and served to shake things up in places people don’t usually pay much attention to. Speaking about some of Google Ideas-turned-Jigsaw’s current products, Eric said,
Project Shield, which harnesses Google’s computing infrastructure to protect independent voices from DDoS attacks; contributions to open-source efforts like uProxy, which lets people share access to the free and open internet; and Password Alert, which helps protect against phishing.
As for the rather peculiar name, Eric said that it was a consequence of realizing that the world is a complex puzzle of physical and digital challenges and that collaborative problem-solving yields the best solutions.
The incubator will continue working in little known niches that will in the long run, not only serve to protect the masses from security threats but will also expand access to information for the masses.