Google has poached an engineering talent who boasts accomplishments at both Apple and Tesla for its Google Brain project. The talent in question is Chris Lattner, who took to Twitter to announce his new position. Lattner only said that he would be working on AI within the Google Brain unit. An alleged inside source, however, specified that Lattner's work in his new job will be focused on Google's TensorFlow, an all-in-one language and framework for easy creation, training, and integration of artificial intelligence programs. Google has not issued any official statement on the matter, and was reportedly unresponsive to a request for a comment.
Lattner spent over ten years at Apple and invented the Swift programming language, which is still used internally by Apple to this day, and is a popular language for iOS developers. As the director of Apple's Developer Tools division, he also worked on things like the Clang compiler. In January of last year, he made the jump to Tesla, where he spent six months as the Vice President of the company's AutoPilot development operations. According to Lattner, he ended up mutually agreeing with Tesla CEO Elon Musk that the two weren't fit to work together, and parted ways with the company in June.
While Google bringing a star engineer from Apple in to work on Google Brain is interesting in and of itself, the TensorFlow angle may have more meaning for the average consumer. TensorFlow is one of the built-in onboard machine learning systems boasted by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 mobile system-on-a-chip, the one that powers flagship handsets like the Samsung Galaxy S8, Moto Z2 Force, and HTC U11. Putting a development powerhouse on Tensorflow as more and more details of Google's upcoming Pixel sequels are revealed could be construed as an effort to develop software that could take advantage of the Snapdragon 835's onboard machine learning prowess, which will more than likely be integrated into the rumored Snapdragon 836, as well. That could even mean that such functionality could end up integrated into Android in the near future, though there is thus far no indication of exactly what Lattner will be doing beyond a single anonymous source claiming that he will be working with TensorFlow.