Tech giant Google lost AI and Search chief John yesterday, and his new employer is Google's bitter rival Apple, who will be putting him in charge of a new division of the company that will work on machine learning and determine the company's strategy for artificial intelligence. There is no word as yet whether he will continue in the more hands-on role at Google that he went into upon stepping down yesterday, but what is known is that he will be one of 16 executive figures within Apple that will report directly to CEO Tim Cook. In an email message to staff that wound up in the hands of the New York Times, Cook said that Giannandrea "shares our commitment to privacy and our thoughtful approach", speaking on the company's thus far slow and cautious approach to expanding its AI programs.
What exact projects Giannandrea and any teams under him will be working on within Apple was not disclosed, but with his prior experience at Google and his new position's description, it would be no surprise to see him directing Apple's pursuit of Google in the AI space. The company is already hard at work on self-driving cars, and incorporates AI into its voice assistant, Siri, just to name a couple of the more prominent possible use cases for Giannandrea's help.
Giannandrea stepped down from Google yesterday after years of heading up teams in a directive role, where he rarely got a chance to actually get his hands dirty. When he quit his position, he said that wanting to be more closely involved with AI technology was one of the key reasons, and it was said that he would be staying at Google in a more hands-on role. He came to the company in 2010, when it acquired startup Metaweb. The smaller company wanted to put together an online compendium of the world's knowledge at large, and has largely accomplished that goal inside of Google. The fruits of that team's labors can mostly be seen in Google's Search efforts, mainly in Google Assistant and its ability to answer direct questions with facts instead of search results.