John Giannandrea Leaves Google To Join Apple

John Giannandrea Leaves Google To Join Apple

John Giannandrea Leaves Google To Join Apple

The hire, first reported by The New York Times, comes one day after the executive announced he was stepping down from his role at Google, itself a surprise move amid a broader executive reshuffle that now makes much more sense in hindsight. At the time, he said that more efforts are required to make computers smarter so that they can think better. Enter John Giannandrea, who dropped out of his SVP position at Google earlier this same week.

Giannandrea joined Google in 2010 when the search giant bought his company Metaweb, which was working on what's called a "knowledge graph" - a tool that gives direct answers to search queries. In a bid to catch up with its AI rivals, Apple has managed to hook Google's AI chief.

Prior to joining Apple, Giannandrea spent 10 years at Google, joining the company following Google's acquisition of Metaweb, a startup where he worked as a chief technology officer.

Apple once held the top spot for voice assistants - for Siri - but lost the lead to Google's Assistant and Amazon's Alexa. Some believed that top AI talent was avoiding Apple because of that data protection policy. John Giannandrea will report directly to Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, which is a big high level position at Apple. It remains to be seen how that philosophy will jibe with Giannandrea's background at Google, which trains its models largely with data culled from user activity. Curiously, larger and more complex - perhaps more intelligent - AIs were more likely to attack their competitors than smaller, simpler neutral networks.

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Smaller protests have continued since, with thousands expected to take to the streets again on Friday. Hardliners in Netanyahu's coalition criticized the deal and pressured Netanyahu to suspend it.

Siri isn't the only way Apple can use artificial intelligence. It's expanded its remit to everything from cars to the Apple HomePod. In fact, Google directly banned its employees from publishing any of their AI research. Apple's emphasis on privacy and security of user data also means it has had to work on training AI algorithms without large-scale data collection.

Engineers with A.I. expertise are some of the most sought-after people in Silicon Valley, with salaries sometimes exceeding eight figures.

On the debate over whether humanity should be anxious about the rapidly accelerating improvements in A.I., Mr. Giannandrea told MIT Technology Review in an interview previous year that the concerns were overblown.

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