Apple has just hired John Giannandrea, one of Google’s top AI executives. Giannandrea, was previously Google’s Head of AI and Search, The New York Times reports. According to a statement from Apple, Giannandrea will lead Apple’s “machine learning and A.I. strategy,” leading many to believe that the company may finally be upping its efforts to improve on Siri. He will be one of only 16 executives that report directly to Apple’s CEO Tim Cook.
Google brought aboard Giannandrea in 2010 after it acquired MetaWeb, where he served as CTO. MetaWeb had sought to make search results more contextually aware through a large database of its tagged data.
As mentioned above, the acquisition comes at relatively crucial time with Apple’s Siri seeming to continually play catch up to Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant products. Granted, a lot of this is due to Apple’s focus on privacy and customer data, but even just getting Siri to hear queries correctly would be a huge start.
TechCrunch spoke with at their recent Disrupt SF conference, where he gave a lengthy interview about how humans could help improve on the smarts of computers, but they could also potentially pick up our own personal biases at the same time.