Apple snaps up Google's former AI boss to improve Siri

Apple snaps up Google's former AI boss to improve Siri

The New York Times first reported the hire on Tuesday, a day after Giannandrea announced resignation from his position at Google.

The conventional wisdom is that Apple is a laggard in the race to infuse consumer technology with artificial intelligence. Enter John Giannandrea, who dropped out of his SVP position at Google earlier this same week. Google purchased Metaweb, a start-up where Giannandrea worked as Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

Apple has hired Google's chief of search and artificial intelligence, John Giannandrea.

As we learnt in an in-depth report last month, Apple's Siri has been lagging behind rivals like Alexa and the Google Assistant because of numerous missteps by the company over the years. (However, it is a pared-down version from the Siri that lives on your iPhone.) Google Assistant is now far more capable of understanding the world around it, despite being launched five years later.

Aside from running Apple's highly secretive A.I. and machine learning division, reports also said that John Giannandrea would be one of the 16 executives that directly report to Timothy Cook, Apple's chief executive.

For a long time, Apple didn't even let its own employees publish research in AI.

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Now, with Giannandrea joining Apple's arsenal, the company is likely to recruit more top level talents and also improve its algorithms.

"[He's] always on the leading edge; [I] always learn new things when I talk to him", Andreessen continued, adding at the time of Giannandrea's ascension to head of search, it was "great news for Google".

When discussing Siri's flaws it's sometimes hard to know how much to blame outdated technology, and how much to blame Apple's unique way of approaching things for Siri's lack of functionality. The company is said to be working on a privacy feature with a new Apple ID tool that will allow users to download all their personal information.

It's not clear what Giannandrea's direct involvement with Siri will be, but the virtual assistant definitely could use his help.

Engineers with A.I. expertise are some of the most sought-after people in Silicon Valley, with salaries sometimes exceeding eight figures. "The technology is used to flag images for human review and is meant to save lives and save people from having to do highly tedious work".

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