Published: Thu, April 05, 2018
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Apple Just Hired Former Google AI Chief John Giannandrea

John Giannandrea, a Scottish native, has been the key figure behind Google's integration of artificial intelligence throughout Google's various products such as internet search, Gmail, and Google Assistant.

The Scotland native and Metaweb co-founder, who supplied the underlying technology of Google's Knowledge Graph before leading the search and machine learning teams, apparently shares Apple's "commitment to privacy" and its "thoughtful approach as we make computers even smarter and more personal".

Giannandrea will be replaced by Google veteran Jeff Dean, who founded Google Brain and is now in charge of the company's entire AI division. John Giannandrea will report directly to Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, which is a big high level position at Apple. He joined Google in 2010 when the search giant bought Metaweb, where he served as CTO. With this hire, Apple plans to make its AI platform much stronger, by using expertise from Giannandrea.

Users have often spoken of what they view as Siri's inferior quality when compared to Google Assistant and Amazon's Alexa.

Giannandrea's work and role at Apple is still a little unclear.

Apple also previous year added more capabilities to Siri behind the scenes, including the ability to securely share some user information between Apple devices that a user has signed into.

As many as 3,100 Google Inc. employees have signed a letter asking the company to drop out of a project to help the U.S. Department of Defense. This includes Carnegie Mellon professor Russ Salakhutdinov.

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

Interestingly, Apple's less than impressive progress in AI can be considered to be the result of its own data collection and privacy policies. Apple's Siri has been lagging far behind its competitors in the artificial intelligence market.

In order to train neural networks a large amount of data is required, an advantage both Google and Facebook have over Apple.

How will it affect Google?

Google said it was also working with local officials to determine how "Rolling Study Halls" could help provide connectivity for community members beyond the school. Dean co-founded Google Brain, which has been behind numerous fundamental technologies that power everything from image recognition to Google Translate. In an October 2017 interview with MIT Technology Review, Giannandrea pushed back on Elon Musk's prediction that artificial intelligence could possibly lead mankind into a new world war.

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