Google's AI head boffin been poached by Apple

Apr 05, 2018, 00:27

The New York Times reports that Giannandrea will report directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook, and has left his previous role to be split between two roles, one dedicated to search and one to AI.

Giannandrea, who will be head of "machine learning and AI strategy", is an important addition to Apple's team, which has struggled to stay ahead in AI technology such as natural language processing and computer vision. He also said that Giannandrea shares its commitment to privacy and its thoughtful approach as it make computers even smarter and more personal. Apple's priority to not collect user information on their iPhones and iPads in order to enhance artificial intelligence networks such as Siri has hampered its progress relative to Google's and Amazon's. Apple's assistant, Siri, is widely regarded as being behind competing AI assistants in smarts, and consequently, being less useful.

Currently, both Google and Facebook are powerhouses when talking about AI, followed by Amazon and Microsoft. The news make me think about the possibilities of search at Apple.

The New York Times article states that, during his time at Google, Mr. Giannandrea helped to integrate AI into numerous company's products including internet search, Gmail, and Google Assistant. Apple's latest hire is a real doozie that sends a clear message that Siri will get it's act together because the SVP of Google Engineering behind the Google Assistant is now onboard. Recently, Apple made several high profiles hires in the file such as Russ Salakhutdinov from Carnegie Mellon University.

John Giannandrea joined Google Inc in 2010 as a Machine Learning (ML) expert after the company acquired his own startup Metaweb Technologies. "The technology is used to flag images for human review and is meant to save lives and save people from having to do highly tedious work". Apple's emphasis on privacy and security of user data also means it has had to work on training AI algorithms without large-scale data collection. "I just see no technological basis as to why this is imminent at all".

Apple was one of the first big technology companies to launch a digital assistant when Siri debuted on the iPhone 4S in 2011. Till now Apple has been resorting to publicly available sets for the process making them fall way behind the pack.

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.

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