The hiring of Giannandrea shows that top talent is willing to work for Apple and many see the hire as a big win for Cupertino.
Apart from enhancing Apple Siri AI capabilities, Giannandrea would also possibly supervise the development of products like Core ML for iOS app developers and the dedicated AI Chip, which is allegedly under development. Dean is now head of the Google Brain, the company's research unit on AI and machine learning, and a well-known expert in the field itself.
Keeping in good company, Giannandrea - at least on LinkedIn - is connected to William Tunstall-Pedoe, a British software developer who invented Evi, one of the first virtual assistants for mobile phones.
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Now, though, Apple is looking to expand Siri's reach. (However, it is a pared-down version from the Siri that lives on your iPhone.) Google Assistant is now far more capable of understanding the world around it, despite being launched five years later.
Giannandrea will be tasked with improving Siri, the iPhone's digital assistant that seems to have grown less popular as competitors create proprietary devices that parallel, if not more.
John Giannandrea, who is affectionately called J.G.by colleagues, was absorbed by Google when the search giant bought Metaweb. Apple hasn't released any sales figures for the smart speaker. Unless you opt out, Google is free to use your interactions with Google Assistant to help make it smarter, which is large part of the reason why it's been able to leap-frog Siri in such a short time. "Industry insiders say Apple's approach to data collection and user privacy, while commendable from an ideological standpoint, hamper its ability to keep pace with other Silicon Valley heavyweights".
Apple has always taken a very strong stance on privacy, but this isn't great for machine learning since neural networks require enormous amounts of data to improve.