Published: Thu, April 05, 2018
Tech | By Anita Cain

Apple hires Google's Artificial Intelligence chief

Apple hires Google's Artificial Intelligence chief

The company has hired John Giannandrea, who was the man in charge for AI and Search at Google, to lead its new AI efforts, including probably Siri and Google Maps. However, we now know his departure from Google was Apple's doing. Well, more than some: It has at least 3,100 signatures-not quite 5% of the workforce-and implores Pichai to withdraw the company from Project Maven.

This was most apparent in a recent expose by The Information on the inner working of Siri and why, since its arrival seven years ago, it hasn't quite blossomed into the smart assistant Apple had envisioned. He helped Google push artificial intelligence throughout Google's products, including internet search and digital assistant Google Assistant.

With John Giannandrea's move to Apple, do you think that the company's A.I. initiatives will now have a better chance of dominating the artificial intelligence arena?

It is also expected that Apple will use Giannandrea's experience to improve its own facial recognition software for correctly tagging users' photos, and for turning Siri into a more able and intelligent smart home assistant - an area where Apple lags behind the competition. Now that John Giannandrea is with Apple, we can be sure that Apple will receive access to Google's prized information. The news comes a day after he announced his exit from Google, reports The New York Times. Before joining Google in 2010, Giannandrea worked as the chief technology officer for Metaweb, a company which sought to build an "open, shared database of the world's knowledge".

Looking back at Apple's history related to AI, it is curious to point out that the company never allowed any of its employees to publish research in AI.

Taking over Giannandrea's AI role, Google programmer Dean is the co-founder of Google Brain Team, which focuses on deep learning, a type of AI. Lately, the Cupertino giant has been lagging behind its peers in the AI arena and has been facing heat especially due to its oft-criticized digital assistant. Last month, Alexa's head AI researcher Ashwin Ram left Amazon to join Google as technical director of AI.

Apple has made other high-profile hires in the field, including the Carnegie Mellon professor Russ Salakhutdinov.

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