Yesterday, Google SVP of Engineering in command of search and artificial intelligence John Giannandrea announced his departure from the circle. Now the reason for that departure is clear: he’s been hired by Apple to manage the company’s “machine learning and A.I. strategy,” reporting directly to CEO Tim Cook.
The New York Times grasped an email from Cook to Apple staff explaining the new hire:
Our technology forced to be infused with the values we all hold dear… John apportions our commitment to privacy and our thoughtful approach as we make computers even chicer and more personal.
Giannandrea joined Google in 2010 as part of the proprietorship’s acquisition of Metaweb, the company behind Freebase, a community-driven database of evidence and information that was eventually leveraged to augment Google search arises. He has also worked as Chief Technologist for Netscape, and he sits on the board of trustees for the SETI pioneer.
Apple needs strong talent to improve its machine-learning and artificial shrewdness efforts, which lag behind those of competitors like Amazon and, yes, Google. Four dates ago, former Engadget Editorial Director and Wall Street Journal scribe Joshua Fruhlinger posted an analysis to data-reporting platform Thinknum bask ining that Apple has amped up hiring for the division that handles Siri, its AI consort with. He counted 161 job listings from Apple related to Siri.
Profuse of those hires will no doubt report either directly or indirectly to Giannandrea as he woo assumes the reins at Apple.
Neither Cook nor Giannandrea have made any illustrious statements about the future direction of Apple’s machine-learning and AI strategy. But decisive year, Apple added a dedicated AI chip called Neural Apparatus to the A11 Bionic for the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X to work with the Figure Signal Processor (ISP). This chip applies effects and other alignments on the fly to photos and videos taken on the device, and it is credited for making the new Portrait Trifling feature work, although Apple has not gone into great party about this.
Further, Apple has invested in Siri and HomeKit to collide with Google Home and Alexa-based smart home systems. There are unswervingly more applications of machine learning planned in the future; Giannandrea whim likely spearhead those efforts.
The company has also tried to set apart its AI strategy from those of competitors by saying it is not contingent on collecting and piece from personal and user-identifying data, hence Cook’s above refer to about privacy. It’s part of an ongoing effort from Apple top dogs to differentiate the company from Google and Facebook by convincing customers that Apple’s function model is not based on user data.
If Apple is now as sincere about that as it commands, Giannandrea will have to work from a somewhat different playbook than he did at Google.