Apple Hires Google's Chief of Search and Artificial Intelligence

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple has snapped up John Giannandrea, who today stepped down from his position as the head of Google's search and artificial intelligence unit, reports The New York Times.

    According to Apple, Giannandrea will run Apple's overall "machine learning and A.I. strategy," reporting directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

    In an email sent out to employees and obtained by The New York Times, Cook had high praise for Giannandrea. "John shares our commitment to privacy and our thoughtful approach as we make computers even smarter and more personal," he said. "Our technology must be infused with the values we all hold dear."

    Giannandrea's hiring comes as Apple has recently faced criticism for Siri, the AI-based personal assistant built into products like Macs, iPhones, iPads, the Apple TV, and the HomePod. Many believe Siri has serious shortcomings in comparison to AI offerings from other companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google due to Apple's heavy focus on privacy.

    The Information, for example, recently shared an in-depth look at Siri and how it has become a "major problem" for the company due to rushed development and poor communication between teams.

    At Google, Giannandrea, a senior vice president, was involved in the push to integrate artificial intelligence throughout Google products, including internet search, Gmail, and Google Assistant.

    Prior to joining Apple, Giannandrea spent 10 years at Google, joining the company following Google's acquisition of Metaweb, a startup where he worked as a chief technology officer.

    In recent years, Apple has been bolstering its artificial intelligence team. In 2016, the company hired Carnegie Mellon researcher Russ Salakhutdinov to lead a team focused on artificial intelligence, and in October, Apple acqui-hired the team from, a customer service startup focused on creating AI with natural language processing and machine learning to analyze chat-based conversations between humans.

    There has also been an uptick in the number of positions Apple has recently offered on its job website that mention the term "Siri," suggesting a ramp up in AI hires.

    Article Link: Apple Hires Google's Chief of Search and Artificial Intelligence
  2. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    Finally. I'm glad Apple is taking a step to fix Siri but I imagine its going to take a year or two to see results.
  3. itsmilo macrumors 68020


    Sep 15, 2016
    Is there no such thing as a „competitors clause“ or something in the US? How do all these people get snatched from their current position to start somewhere new doing the same thing
  4. mariusignorello macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2013
  5. DTphonehome macrumors 68000

    Apr 4, 2003
    Good. They desperately need to right the ship if they expect to be a big player in voice assistants. Siri has become a joke and laughingstock.
  6. ElZeus macrumors regular

    May 26, 2008
    Whoa, if Apple gets into the "Search" business Google could be in trouble.
  7. tito2020 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2011
    im sure when you leave a company that huge you have to sign a clause .
  8. thadoggfather macrumors G4


    Oct 1, 2007
    Heh. Privacy as a central Apple selling point.

  9. Kaibelf Suspended


    Apr 29, 2009
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Well, THAT is an aggressive move, and good on them!
    --- Post Merged, Apr 3, 2018 ---
    Because in the US as a general rule we're not into indentured servitude anymore. No one should be forced to work for one company for life or have to exit to a new career.
  10. enc0re macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2010
    The US is very decentralized compared to other countries. Rules vary a lot by state. While many states allow such clauses, called non-competes in the US, they are virtually unenforceable in California. That's great for tech because it makes it much harder for companies to monopolize ideas.
  11. Rogifan macrumors Core


    Nov 14, 2011
    Finally. Thank god. And he’s reporting directly to Cook. If it isn’t I hope it becomes an SVP position. Deserves that importance.
  12. Will.O.Bie macrumors 6502


    Aug 29, 2016
    They finally noticed that its been lagging behind for years now. At least now, they are headed in the right direction with this hire. Only time will tell because I think one of the reasons Siri is lacking "intelligence" is because of Apple's privacy policies, although, one can argue that it goes further than that (understanding what's being asked of it). Hopefully, he can help work both into improving their AI.
  13. itsmilo macrumors 68020


    Sep 15, 2016

    So you could like work 5 years at Daimler and then move on to VW and be like „at daimler we were working on this and that by doing these things that way“? Crazy to me
  14. springsup macrumors 65816


    Feb 14, 2013
    They all got in to trouble recently for illegal anti-poaching deals. I don't think these things are enforceable very easily.
  15. fatalogic, Apr 3, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018

    fatalogic macrumors regular


    Aug 16, 2016
    Like others have stated there are jobs and states that have those type of laws but at a certain level hiring is a true negotiation. John Giannandrea is not hurting for work if Google tried to put a non compete clause in his contract he probably would have turned down the job.
  16. springsup, Apr 3, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018

    springsup macrumors 65816


    Feb 14, 2013
    No, that's also not allowed (see: Waymo vs Uber, a recent case of getting it exactly wrong), but you can continue to use your skills without infringing the other company's rights.

    Uber is a pretty dirty company in general.
  17. JGIGS macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2008
    Unless things have changed in the last 5 years or so ago, or the tech industry is completely different, all the high level people who the American company I used to work for hired from other organizations in US often worked in Canada till their non compete clauses ended.

    Surprised this guy didn't have one. Seems like a nice add for Apple. Who of course never steals ideas or people from competitors like competitors do to them. :rolleyes:
  18. Bswails macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2016
    I read the article yesterday that talk about google taking him out of that role. And the way the article spoke about this man I said he would be a great fit with Apple..I’m starting to get excited for 2019 and Siri...just PLEASE don’t make us have to buy new hardware to experience whatever’s coming!
  19. Centris 650 macrumors 6502a

    Centris 650

    Dec 26, 2002
    Near Charleston, SC
    While I usually have a positive experience with Siri...she could be a lot better. Hoping this takes the virtual assistant to new levels.
  20. B60boy macrumors member


    Nov 25, 2014
    Did'nt Google steal Apple's top chip designer of all of the A series chips?

    Payback is a bitch...
  21. sully54 macrumors regular


    Sep 15, 2012
    This is a huge move. AI and machine learning is the next big thing and it deserves its own umbrella at Apple.
  22. deanthedev Suspended


    Sep 29, 2017
    My guess is this guy likes a challenge. And the big challenge for him would be to apply ML and AI to allow Apple to offer better services (like Siri or search) AND also maintain privacy.
  23. techwhiz macrumors 6502a

    Feb 22, 2010
    Northern Ca.
    Because unless the person is stealing trade secrets, there is nothing to prevent work at a competitor.
    To prevent work at a competitor you typically need to pay the employee to sit at home.
    Anti-compete clauses have been found to be mostly unenforceable because it prevents the person from earning a living. When you look at very specialized fields, it is difficult not to be in a position working for the competition in some way or another.

    Crappy engineers steal on paper when they leave. Good engineers leave with nothing more than is in their head.
    If you invented it or worked on it. You can think of a way to do it differently and better.

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