Apple hires Google's former head of AI in bid to catch up

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Mr. Giannandrea helped integrate AI into Google's search platform, GMail, and Google Assistant, that company's digital assistant.

It seems Apple thinks it has something to learn from Google.

This should make this a bit more spicy between Google and Apple. Gianandrea just may be what Apple needs to race back up to where it should be when it comes to AI, and that should worry Google, Amazon, and anyone else that's betting big on artificial intelligence. That Apple is keen to catch up with its rivals in this field can be estimated from the fact that Giannandrea would be reporting directly to CEO Tim Cook and would head machine learning and AI strategy division within the company.

In March, technology site The Information detailed seven years of infighting within the Siri team at Apple, with multiple attempts to reorganise the basic technology that underpins the feature falling prey to internal politics which limited attempts to improve the overall product.

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NY Times today reported that John Giannandrea, Google's chief of search and artificial intelligence, was hired by Apple.

It's not clear from statements and published reports why Giannandrea made a decision to leave Google or join Apple.

Giannandrea joined Google in 2010 as part of the company's acquisition of Metaweb, the company behind Freebase, a community-driven database of data and information which was eventually leveraged to augment Google search results.

Former Google VP John Giannandrea speaks onstage during TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2017 at Pier 48 on September 19, 2017 in San Francisco, California. Giannandrea, who was called J.G.by his peers, will reportedly be working on improving Siri's capabilities in the future.

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While Apple wants to explore building services with neural networks, it wants to do so without compromising the privacy of user data.

Siri, which earlier was available only on MacBooks, iPhones, and iPads, is now also seen on Apple's HomePod smart speaker. Also, Apple Siri lags behind Amazon Alexa, which has already cemented its position as the smart home industry leader, notes The Verge.

On the other hand, Jeff Dean who co-founded Google Brain will be taking over Giannandrea's spot.

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