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AI Expert Ian Goodfellow Is Coming Back To Google Over Office Policies

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Apple Machine Learning executive Ian Goodfellow is returning to work on AI at Google and reportedly cites an inbound ‘return-to-office policy at the  company as a primary reason. That’s based on recent reports citing Bloomberg. Apple will be switching up its policy on May 23. And part of that includes requiring employees to come into the office twice per week.

Previously, Apple had planned to require employees to come to the office three times per week. That appears to have been teh policy that influenced Mr. Goodfellow’s decision to leave for Google.

Perplexingly, Google has similar policies at its own offices as part of its “hybrid work” approach following the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it isn’t clear how many days per week Google requires its workers to go to the office. Or, conversely, how different roles at the company will be impacted differently.

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Google will gain from this but it isn’t clear what Ian Goodfellow will work on

Now, this won’t be the first time that Ian Goodfellow has worked for or with Google or on AI at the company. Mr. Goodfellow began working with the search giant in 2013 and has held a variety of roles. Ranging from a software engineering intern to a research scientist and eventually one of Google’s top minds in AI.

One of the more well known projects he was involved in, for example, was for Google Maps. Specifically, a system for identifying and transcribing addresses from Google Street View. Mr. Goodfellow ultimately left Google to work in Apple’s AI department in 2019.

On returning to Google, the AI expert won’t be returning to the same role, however. Instead, he’ll make his return as an “individual contributor.” More specifically, as part of the DeepMind team.

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DeepMind is an AI-focused, london-based operation associated more closely with Google parent company Alphabet, Inc. than with the search giant. It is also more well known for novel technologies. And those that may or may not eventually evolve into features and products under branding more closely related to Google.

For instance, in 2018, DeepMind developed technology to create 3D images using AI, from 2D photos. The work undoubtedly aided in the development of feautres such as Cinematic Photos in Google Photos.

However, the work performed at DeepMind doesn’t typically break headlines. So it is still unclear how, exactly, Google plans to utilize Mr. Goodfellow’s talents at this time. Or what projects he may be assigned to assist with.

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