Siri has got its new boss. In a surprise development that is sure to have huge implications across the AI landscape, Apple announced that it has hired John Giannandrea, the architect behind Google Assistant, mere hours after he had announced that he was stepping down from his lofty position at the Mountain View headquarters.
Apple’s strong stance on user privacy has left some AI experts wondering if the company is missing out on opportunities in the field. Techniques like machine learning require massive amounts of data to automatically improve. Google has used mountains of data for years to inject AI features into services like Gmail, Google Photos and the Google Assistant.
With Giannandrea joining the fold, Apple may be able to recruit some more top-level talent and improvement is its algorithms. The company has long said that it wants to achieve target without violating its stance on privacy. Yet because neural networks — the backbone of deep learning techniques for developing self-improving software — require large amounts of data to be trained on, Apple is necessarily at a disadvantage because it only has access to publicly available sets
Apple is currently working hard into the smart home market, while also experimenting with autonomous car technology.