Google's chief of AI is now working for Apple

Google's chief of AI is now working for Apple

Apple (AAPL) aims to catch-up in artificial intelligence as it has hired away the former head of AI and search technology from Google-parent Alphabet (GOOGL).

Many people were surprised when news broke that Giannandrea had left his post as Google's AI chief, but the decision makes sense now that we know he was intending to join Apple.

Cook broke the news to Apple staff via an email, stating: "Our technology must be infused with the values we all hold dear". At the time, he said that more efforts are required to make computers smarter so that they can think better.

Forum discussion at Twitter. When he quit his position, he said that wanting to be more closely involved with AI technology was one of the key reasons, and it was said that he would be staying at Google in a more hands-on role.

Apple can't afford to keep lagging behind in this space, especially now that it's asking even more of Siri with the HomePod. Apple is now looking to hire more than 150 people to staff its Siri team, a recruiting boom that did not go unnoticed. He will also report directly to the company's CEO, Tim Cook.

The New York Times first reported the hire on Tuesday, a day after Giannandrea announced resignation from his position at Google.

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Launched in 2008, the company claims to have almost 160 million monthly active users, across dozens of countries. That means that if the stock plunges, there is no big bank to prop up the share price with more share purchases.

Apple has made other high-profile hires in the field, including the Carnegie Mellon professor Russ Salakhutdinov. Apple didn't even let its employees publish their AI based research until 2016.

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.

At Google, Giannandrea became head of machine learning research, and oversaw projects foundational to Google's current AI pursuits, like work on the company's Photos app, creation of voice-recognition software, and its self-driving vehicle project. Any advances that bring Siri closer to Google Assistant, Alexa, and Cortana will seem like leaps rather than steps.

In recent years, Apple has been bolstering its artificial intelligence team.

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

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