Sci-tech

Google's former head of search and AI is joining Apple

Google's former head of search and AI is joining 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.

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. At the time, he said that more efforts are required to make computers smarter so that they can think better.

He also led Google into its position today, where it battles with Amazon for technological supremacy in the field of voice controlled assistants.

As Alexa and Google Assistant hog the limelight with their intelligence, Apple finds itself on the back foot - especially after launching its HomePod smart speaker with a version of Siri inferior to that on iPhones and Macs.

"[He's] always on the leading edge; [I] always learn new things when I talk to him", Andreessen continued, adding at the time of Giannandrea's ascension to head of search, it was "great news for Google".

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Giannandrea has been with Google during the company's rapidly-increasing interest in artificial intelligence over the past few years.

Apple today hired John Giannandrea, who was until recently in charge of Google's search and AI departments.

On the debate over whether humanity should be anxious about the rapidly accelerating improvements in AI, Giannandrea told MIT Technology Review in an interview a year ago that the concerns were overblown.

Giannandrea had joined Google in 2010 after the company acquired his startup Metaweb Technologies.

According to the industry experts, Apple's approach to data collection and user privacy, while commendable from an ideological standpoint, hamper its ability to keep pace with other Silicon Valley heavyweights. Apple relies on publicly-available data, which limits its AI push as compared to its rivals. Dean co-founded Google Brain, which has been behind numerous fundamental technologies that power everything from image recognition to Google Translate. Mr. Salakhutdinov studied at the University of Toronto under Geoffrey Hinton, who helps oversee the Google Brain lab.


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