Apple Hires Google's head of Search & Artificial Intelligence

John Giannandrea, Google's SVP of Engineering joins Apple to lead AI strategy

Marcus Zallman
Read +
Follow Us

John Giannandrea, Google’s SVP of Engineering in charge of search and artificial intelligence has announced that he would be leaving Google and will be joining Apple and run the company’s “machine learning and A.I. Strategy”

Many Silicon Valley executives believe that Apple is behind in artificial intelligence, which is a crucial technology for all leading tech companies.

John is an excellent hire, and by positioning him as the head of A.I. and become one of 16 executives who report directly to Apple’s chief executive is a coup.

In an article published by The New York Times which managed to source an email from Tim Cook, CEO of Apple explaining to staff;

“Our technology must be infused with the values we all hold dear... John shares our commitment to privacy and our thoughtful approach as we make computers even smarter and more personal.”

Apple has risen to be one of the world leading tech company, and more importantly the most publicly traded company. As the company’s iPhone sales continue to grow, its AI/Machine Learning machine assistant, SIRI which has been built into products like Macs, iPhones, iPads, the Apple TV, and the HomePod has been less effective than its counterparts at Google or Amazon.

In an in-depth review of SIRI, published by The Information, the article goes on to say that SIRI has become a major problem for the company because of poor development and rushed code deployments.

In 2016, Apple began to push forward with its AI Strategy, and the company added its Neural Engine chip to its A11 Bionic chip for iPhone 8/8Plus and iPhone X. The chip would enable Apple device(s) to processes and work with the Image Signal Processor. This results in enhanced photo image(s), crunched on the fly and has been credited for Apple’s new Portrait Lightning effect.

Over at Google, with the departure of Giannandrea, CRBOnline reports  and confirmed by CNBC, that Google Brain project, Jeff Dean, will get the additional responsibility of heading a dedicated AI unit for the search engine company and Ben Gomes, the current head at search engineering will lead Google’s search division as vice president.  Google’s decision two split the role now in two, shows that the company also views AI as a strategic growth area.