Apple hires Google's Artificial Intelligence chief

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Apple has poached Google's AI chief, John Giannandrea, to run its machine learning and AI operations, in the clearest sign yet that the iPhone creator is attempting to fix the problems that saw its early lead in the field crumble.

Apple has hired John Giannandrea, Google's former head of search and artificial intelligence, to head its own AI and machine learning unit.

Taking over the place of Giannandrea is veteran Jeff Dean, who is one of the most talented figures in Google AI team.

According to the New York Times, which first reported the hiring, Giannandrea will head up Apple's "machine learning and AI strategy".

In a response published today by the New York Times, Google said it was natural that employees were concerned, stating that it was "hugely important and beneficial" that employees wanted to discuss Google's involvement with matters of defense. He joined the brand all the way back in 2010 when it acquired Metaweb, a startup whose technology eventually got integrated into Search's direct answer feature.

The Cupertino, California, company started its push into artificial intelligence with the 2011 debut of the Siri voice-controlled digital assistant. Nonetheless, what really matters is that Apple is constantly looking to improve its smartphones and a great example of that is the addition of John Giannandrea to its team.

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While Apple representatives did not comment on this information, while the press service of Google has confirmed that Giannandrea left the company.

Giannandrea's contribution to Google includes the development of the Ask Jeeves-style functionality that now enables Google search to provide more precise responses to user questions.

The letter goes on to say that "building this technology to assist the US Government in military surveillance-and potentially lethal outcomes-is not acceptable" and that Maven will "irreparably damage Google's brand and its ability to compete for talent". In terms of quality, Apple Siri is way behind Google Assistant, which uses the same ground-breaking algorithms that power Google Translate and Google search image.

And past year, Apple transferred responsibility for Siri from content chief Eddy Cue to operating systems chief Craig Federighi, a sign that the company was looking to embed the voice assistant more deeply into its core systems.

The hire of the 53-year-old Scot may signal a new approach at Apple in terms of the company's engagement with the research community, but it is unlikely to see Apple step completely in-line with its rivals. John Giannandrea is now officially part of Apple's team and his main objective is to help Apple improve Siri. The neural networks, the core aspect of deep learning techniques for developing self-improving software needs a large amount of data to be trained on, Apple is necessarily at a disadvantage because it only has access to publicly available sets. It will take time for Giannandrea to make noticeable impacts on Apple's AI platform, but we'll keep an eye out.

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