Apple poaches Google's AI top brass for Siri push

John Giannandrea will move from Mountain View to Cupertino to lead Apple's machine learning work

Apple has hired one of Google's top artificial intelligence (AI) executives in a move to get ahead in the smart technology race.

The Cupertino firm managed to get John Giannandrea, Google's AI chief, to jump ship to run Apple's machine learning and AI strategy, according to The New York Times.

This could be quite the coup for Apple, as it has struggled to keep up with advancements the likes of Google, Amazon, and Microsoft have made with their machine learning and AI-based technology and systems; Apple's Siri virtual assistant, for example, is widely considered to be less capable than the Google Assistant.

But with Giannandrea on its AI team, Apple could start making up for lost ground in the machine learning arena.

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"Out technology must be infused with the value[s] we all hold dear," Apple chief executive Tim Cook said in an email sent to Cupertino's staff. "John shares our commitment to privacy and our thoughtful approach as we make computers smarter and more personal."

Neither Apple nor Cook gave much away in exactly what Giannandrea will work on, but it's likely he'll play a significant role in making Siri smarter and more capable.

Since joining Google in 2010, the Scottish-born Giannandrea helped push the search giant's AI technology into a wide range of products and services, ranging from the debut of the Google Assistant in Pixel smartphones to the creation of Lens, a visual search tool built around smart computer vision and image recognition.

As such, Google has arguably become the market leader in AI, at least within the general use and consumer world.

While Apple may have been first off the mark with Siri, it failed to build upon its early lead as the virtual assistant can't compete with rivals; the best example of this can be seen with the Siri in Apple's HomePod, as tested by our sister site Expert Reviews.

Main image credit: Apple

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