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Why A.I. Researchers at Google Got Desks Next to the Boss (nytimes.com)
11 points by dmix 4 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 10 comments



It is hard to express how much this story reads like a submarine: http://paulgraham.com/submarine.html

Particularly, there seems nothing super newsworthy here, in terms of the fact that normally speaking, internal arrangement of a workplace office doesn't make the New York Times. But if one of the aforementioned three companies is pushing the AI buzz, dropping the names of Silicon Valley's top executives in a piece like this seems pretty much the stock way to do it.

Google in particular has revamped it's entire imagine and identity as a company around being "an AI company".

It's hard to imagine where this article originated from other than a PR firm.


Initially I got the same vibe.

I could read it as "hey AI researcher, come here, and you'll be sitting and eating next to the CEO".

But then again, it talks about Google, Facebook and Overstock. So it's not so clear who has to gain.

Maybe it did start as a submarine article for one of the companies, but then the NYT reporter/editor asked around at other companies to see if this is common.


Almost all “news” articles fit this description. Some of them are just more clever at concealing the sponsor.


Look at the NYT front page at some random moment. What ratio of stories plausibly fit this description? Right now I'm having trouble finding one out of >25.


Brings back memories of Plus team all being close to leadership at Google... this is more of an ego thing for leadership and the lucky few deemed to be the most important.

If the "most important" were really seated next to leadership at Google it should be Adwords team.


While I can't speak to the exact climate at Google, to me it's more about igniting teams and showing focus.

Friends at Tesla, FB, and other have mentioned this happening when a company is moving into new frontiers or needing to drastically improve certain product areas.


Counterpoint, just for the heck of it :-)

How awful! One would expect the vicinity of high-level managers to have a lot of activity... people walking in and out for discussions, visitors throughout the day, high-level management walking around potentially asking questions which might pull a researcher out from 3-levels deep problem solving! Maybe what researchers need are comfortable working environment (desks, chairs, boards, discussion rooms) and the right amount of stimulation -- maybe a few discussions with colleagues to spark ideas, and not too much generally distracting bustle.

My only point is that it is far from obvious whether this seating arrangement is beneficial.


Kind of reminds me of this old HBR article on a similar topic

https://hbr.org/2012/02/does-it-matter-where-your-top

which had a link to this interesting paper

http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone...


Why on earth would yo want to sit next to the "boss"?!


You hope to become a boss in time to watch the corporate reorg in which the scenario will have you as the boss, and your brainchild AI as the AI researcher.




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