Sci-tech

Google's chief of search and artificial intelligence hired by Apple

Google's chief of search and artificial intelligence hired by Apple”

Aside from running Apple's highly secretive A.I. and machine learning division, reports also said that John Giannandrea would be one of the 16 executives that directly report to Timothy Cook, Apple's chief executive.

In a victorious move for Apple's AI efforts, Google's chief of search and artificial intelligence (AI) John Giannandrea has joined the Cupertino tech giant. Giannandrea and Google announced early this week that he was stepping down from his role, but exactly where Giannandrea was going was unknown at the time. According to the report in NYT, Apple confirmed that Giannandrea will run the company's "machine learning and AI strategy", and he will report directly to CEO Tim Cook. Before joining Google in 2010, he was chief technology officer at Metaweb, a startup that was building technology that could act as the "database of the world's knowledge". Apple is therefore hiring hundreds of AI engineers to make Siri smarter and more sophisticated. Giannandrea is being viewed as a change to that narrative. Given the rise of home speakers and the public's increasing comfort with speaking to a disembodied AI voice, Apple will want to catch up with its rivals to improve Siri's abilities. He stepped down from Google on Monday, sparking speculation about his plans, but The Times said it was likely he stepped down specifically to go to Apple.

However, the question remains, if these hires are alone enough for Apple to improve its AI game considering their commitment to protecting user data and privacy. Apple will let users see what data has been stored on the servers and allow them to download everything or just specific items individually such as contacts, photos, calendar entries and others. Apple relies on publicly-available data, which limits its AI push as compared to its rivals.

How will it affect Google?

Former Google VP John Giannandrea speaks onstage during TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2017 at Pier 48 on September 19, 2017 in San Francisco, California.



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