Apple Hires Google's AI Head John Giannandrea

Pop culture gets a ‘virtual’ valentine

Apple Hires Google's AI Chief

Google's head of search and AI, John Giannandrea leaves and Joins Apple to lead their machine learning and AI strategy department.

Apple has hired Google's head of search and artificial intelligence, in a major win for the former company's efforts to step up its AI efforts.

Critics have long held that Apple has lagged behind competitors when it comes to its AI capabilities, and nowhere is this more evident than in Siri.

Apple had defined the early market for voice-based digital assistants with Siri, but it remains as a joke for lacking in AI.

Giannandrea served as chief technology officer for Metaweb, but his prominence in Google grew as it increasingly focused on machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Giannandrea will likely be tasked with fixing Siri at Apple, which has been deemed "embarrassingly inadequate" in new products like the HomePod.

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Giannandrea leaves Google after having worked at the company for eight years.

In an email written to employees, Cook announced that Giannandrea was 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.

It's not clear what Giannandrea's direct involvement with Siri will be, but the virtual assistant definitely could use his help. 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. Apple has also partnered with other companies to bundle Siri support with their products and apps. Apple stresses user privacy to a greater degree than Google, which offers free and ad-supported services with the understanding that Google might use your data to improve its technology.

Jeff Dean, co-founder of leading AI research lab Google Brain, will now be in charge of Google's AI team.

It should be noted that engineers with AI expertise are highly sought after in Silicon Valley, and Apple has made a number of high profile hirings of late in the AI field.

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