Apple hires former Google AI chief to lead company machine learning strategy

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Giannandrea's loss is unlikely to hinder Google's AI team who will now have Jeff Dean, a talented AI veteran and co-founder of Google Brain, at its head. The news make me think about the possibilities of search at Apple.

Apple said on Tuesday that Giannandrea will run Apple's "machine learning and AI strategy" He will be one of the 16 executives who report directly to the Apple CEO, Tim Cook. Apple may be one of the most loved companies, but its search engine and search ad platform are lacking in the nuances that make Google the most desirable.

Apple needs strong talent to improve its machine-learning and artificial intelligence efforts, which lag behind those of competitors like Amazon and, yes, Google.

In 2016, he was named the head of a new combined division at Google, pairing its powerful search unit and artificial intelligence divisions, after Amit Singhal, Google's longtime search czar, left. Google Assistant is far ahead when it comes to quality levels, as it uses the same algorithms that power Google Translate and Google Image search.

Apart from enhancing Apple Siri AI capabilities, Giannandrea would also possibly supervise the development of products like Core ML for iOS app developers and the dedicated AI Chip, which is allegedly under development. "Our technology must be infused with the values we all hold dear", Cook wrote in an email to staff members obtained by The New York Times, who first broke the story. Google acquired Metaweb in 2010 and turned its technology into its Knowledge Graph, the blurbs of information provided as the result of a Google search whenever typing in a person, place, or thing.

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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.

Looking back at Apple's history related to AI, it is curious to point out that the company never allowed any of its employees to publish research in AI.

Software and services are now critical - for Siri in particular - to the continued competitiveness of Apple's product lineup, including the iPhone. Dean co-founded Google Brain, which has been behind numerous fundamental technologies that power everything from image recognition to Google Translate.

Apple has made other high-profile hires in the field, including the Carnegie Mellon professor Russ Salakhutdinov.