Tech

Apple just stole Google's AI chief

Apple just stole Google's AI chief

Giannandrea will be one of 16 Apple executives who report directly to Tim Cook, according to the New York Times.

Multinational technology company Apple poached one of Google's top Artificial Intelligence (AI) executives, John Giannandrea. In fact, a spokesperson had confirmed that Giannandrea had chose to step down himself and had said, "The move will allow him to get more hands-on time with technology and our understanding is that he will stay at Google".

Our technology must be infused with the values we all hold dear. And speaking to the importance of his role, Giannandrea will report directly to Tim Cook.

More news: An Apple, Samsung search for 'competition' to now throw up Google

Many of those hires will no doubt report either directly or indirectly to Giannandrea as he takes the reins at Apple. Siri, the digital assistant into which Apple has pumped much of its consumer-facing AI technologies, is far behind Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant in capabilities. The Giannandrea hire will certainly help and it remains to be seen if Apple will have any Siri performance improvements to divulge when WWDC rolls around this coming June.

Just yesterday, The Information (paywalled) had reported that Giannandrea would be stepping down from his role at Google and would be replaced by 19-year Google veteran Jeff Dean.

As a final point, it stands to reason that Giannandrea will also play a prominent role in Apple's self-driving vehicle efforts, an initiative that Tim Cook previously categorized as the "mother of all AI projects". "John shares our commitment to privacy and our thoughtful approach as we make computers even smarter and more personal", The New York Times quoted an email from Cook to his staff as saying. There are surely more applications of machine learning planned in the future; Giannandrea would likely spearhead those efforts.


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