- This week, Eric Schmidt, Alphabet's executive chairman, announced that Google's think tank, Google Ideas, is expanding to become a tech incubator called Jigsaw.
- The group will use technology to try and solve global challenges, such as stopping online censorship and minimizing threats from digital attacks.
- The name stems from how "the world is a complex puzzle of physical and digital challenges," Schmidt said in his blog post on Medium, and emphasizes how collaboration can help people find the best solutions to problems.
Google has always been a fan of its pet projects, relying on advertising revenue to support some of its "Other Bets" that could be more at home in a science fiction novel, like its work on a glucose monitoring contact lens. But, as the world's most valuable company, Alphabet can afford to support work that is trying to improve the world.
Schmidt said that Jigsaw will invest in and build technology to help vulnerable populations around the world have better access to information and to defend against security threats. The organization is working to build products that do everything from investigating corruption to defending against hackers, all while relying on the intersection of technology and human interest.
Last year, when Google became Alphabet, the all-encompassing parent company, it allowed the organization's products to focus on their own mission. Though, at its core, it is simply rebranding, separating out the different parts of the company allows the individual products to form a brand recognition in their own right.