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Google’s Former AI Boss to Join Apple to improve Siri

Written by Nitish Singh
Last updated June 14, 2021

John Giannandrea, who headed Google’s search and AI unit, had announced stepping down from his role and then one-day afterward was hired by Apple. Giannandrea, who is a machine learning expert worked for Google since 2010. His expertise will be of great help to Apple as the company tries to realize their goals in fast-paced and ever important AI domains like natural language processing. As per reports, Giannandrea will be the leader in machine learning and AI strategy at Apple.

Apple, although the pioneer of personal virtual assistants with the likes of Siri, currently lacks access to data as well as research talent to succeed in AI development. But alas, with its competitors such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon, progressing in the field which Apple initiated, the company feels it is high time to make a comeback.

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. They also showed much hesitation before finally joining an ethical AI research consortium which was co-founded by Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, and IBM.  Many amongst the industry have pointed out that Apple’s attitude towards data collection and user privacy, although appreciable from an ideological perspective, hampers its progress in the industry.

Giannandrea to improve siri

Image Courtesy of Cult of Mac

Now, with Giannandrea joining Apple’s arsenal, the company is likely to recruit more top level talents and also improve its algorithms. However, it is worth noting that Apple has cited that they want to improve their AI tech without hampering/violating user privacy. This only leaves the company to work with publicly available sets of data - which is rather limited. But, since neural networks which are required for deep learning and self-improving software requires huge chunks of data, Apple will still be at a slight disadvantage.

On the other hand, Jeff Dean who co-founded Google Brain will be taking over Giannandrea's spot. It is unlikely that Google’s AI department will suffer as much as we expect Apple’s to progress.



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