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newsmoments.net April 25, 2018


Apple hires Google's former head of AI in bid to catch up

05 April 2018, 01:20 | Sam Montgomery

Google headquarters./FILE

Google headquarters./FILE

Talking about the future of the technology, John Giannandrea also mentioned the possibility of personalized "pervasive computing", where the capacities of the computer to assist humans would be infused in the entire environment rather than shrinking into the mobile phones.

MORE: Alexa vs. Siri vs. Google Assistant: Which Smart Assistant Wins?

Apple has poached Google's head of artificial intelligence, John Giannandrea, in its effort to keep up with the deluge of AI products being launched by competitors like Google and Amazon. The hire is an absolute victory for Apple.


Giannandrea's work and role at Apple is still a little unclear.

Prior to joining Apple, Giannandrea spent 10 years at Google, joining the company following Google's acquisition of Metaweb, a startup where he worked as a chief technology officer.

Craig Federighi, a senior software executive at Apple, took over the Siri division past year.


Blogger and Apple commentator John Gruber said that Giannandrea's appointment may come to be regarded as "one of the most significant Apple executive hires ever".

Currently, both Google and Facebook are powerhouses when talking about AI, followed by Amazon and Microsoft. Apple, though it helped define the early market for voice-based digital assistants with Siri, has had neither the access to data nor the research talent and resources to approach AI development with the same level of intensity as its rivals.

He joined the company back in 2010 when his company Metaweb was bought out and his career path took a more Google-related direction. Apple has products such as iPhones and HomePod smart speakers, but without a competitive voice assistant, they can only get so far in an AI-driven future. The company is said to be working on a privacy feature with a new Apple ID tool that will allow users to download all their personal information. This will leave the AI division to be led by Jeff Dean, the co-founder of Google Brain, while Ben Gomes, the former Vice President of Search at the company, will run the search division. When Giannandrea announced last week that we was stepping down from Google, he was most likely bombarded with job offers. "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".




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