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'OK, Google,' let's make Siri smarter: Apple nabs Google's top AI talent

05 April, 2018, 01:19 | Author: Janis Wilson
  • Apple Hires Google's AI Chief

As initially reported by The New York Times, Google's John Giannandrea will be joining Apple one day after he stepped down from his previous role. "Therefore we ask that Project Maven be cancelled, and that Google draft, publicize and enforce a clear policy stating that neither Google nor its contractors will ever build warfare technology".

On Monday, Google confirmed that Giannandrea would be stepping down, but said he'd be remaining at the company in another position.

Appointed in early 2016, Giannandrea served as senior vice president of engineering and joined Google in 2010 following the acquisition of Metaweb Technologies.

Apple - which some argue has been lagging behind other tech companies like Google and Facebook in A.I. development - seems to think it has acquired the creative and intellectual boost it needed.

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.

More news: United Nations chief urges Yemeni sides for political settlement

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, which was quick to develop its voice-based digital assistant Siri, fell behind with no access to data, the research talent and resources to approach AI development with the same robustness as the rivals.

Coming back to Apple Inc, the company added an AI chip called Neural Engine, last year, to the A11 Bionic for the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X to work with the Image Signal Processor (ISP). It remains to be seen how that philosophy will jibe with Giannandrea's background at Google, which trains its models largely with data culled from user activity.

It is finally time for Apple to catch up with its competitors in the Artificial Intelligence industry. Apple stresses user privacy to a greater degree than Google, which offers free and ad-supported services with the understanding that Google might use your data to improve its technology. Engineers with AI expertise are in high demand at the Silicon Valley right now, sometimes fetching salaries exceeding eight figures. Giannandrea is being viewed as a change to that narrative.



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