Google’s Think Tank Becomes Jigsaw

Google’s executive Chairman Eric Schmidt announced the expansion of Google Ideas, Google’s think tank, as a technology incubator called Jigsaw. The team’s mission will be 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.

Jared Cohen, who ran Google Ideas, will serve as President of Jigsaw. He will also continue to serve as an advisor to Schmidt, who is also Google’s former CEO now called Alphabet.

Many of the team’s current products aim to protect access to information, including 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.

The team has also explored global challenges using data visualizations, such as the Digital Attack Map, which displays the top digital attacks in the world in real time, and the global arms visualization, which illuminates the global arms trade.