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Apple hires Google's former AI boss to help improve Siri

Apple Hires Google's AI Chief

In recent weeks, however, Apple has accelerated hiring for Siri, peaking with 161 openings posted in one day in March - and now Giannandrea's hiring, first reported by the New York Times. He will be one of 16 executives who report directly to Apple's chief executive.

"Our technology must be infused with the values we all hold dear", said Mr. Cook in a company-wide email obtained by the New York Times.

Giannandrea has helped integrate AI into a variety of Google products such as Gmail, Search, and the Google Assistant. In terms of quality, Apple Siri is way behind Google Assistant, which uses the same ground-breaking algorithms that power Google Translate and Google search image.

This should make this a bit more spicy between Google and Apple. During his tenure, A.I. research gained prominence inside Google, with its primary A.I. lab, Google Brain, moving into space beside the chief executive, Sundar Pichai.

Apple has poached Google's head of artificial intelligence, John Giannandrea, in its effort to keep up with the deluge of AI products being launched by competitors like Google and Amazon.

The New York Times article states that, during his time at Google, Mr. Giannandrea helped to integrate AI into numerous company's products including internet search, Gmail, and Google Assistant.

Appointed in early 2016, Giannandrea served as senior vice president of engineering and joined Google in 2010 following the acquisition of Metaweb Technologies.

The new hire comes at a time when Apple desperately needed someone to lead its crucial AI division (more specifically Apple Siri). 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.

However, the question remains, if these hires are alone enough for Apple to improve its AI game considering their commitment to protecting user data and privacy. "I just see no technological basis as to why this is imminent at all".

Siri has received a fair share of flak recently, especially amid Apple's highly-publicized but inherently lackluster release of the Siri-only HomePod speaker. Apple relies on publicly-available data, which limits its AI push as compared to its rivals.