Google's AI chief steps down, Apple hires him the next day

A more capable Siri is expected to be in the making now that the former head of AI at Google, John Giannandrea has joined Apple and is reporting directly to CEO Tim Cook. "Therefore we ask that Project Maven be cancelled, and that Google draft, publicize and enforce a clear policy stating that neither Google nor its contractors will ever build warfare technology".

Giannandrea has helped integrate AI into a variety of Google products such as Gmail, Search, and the Google Assistant.

The article noted how Apple's rivals at Amazon, Google and Facebook (NasdaqGS: FB - news) spent much more time contributing to public conferences and engaging with the research community and suggested that this might be contributing to its developmental issues.

Giannandrea is seen as a linchpin in the swivelling of Google to be an AI first company, infusing intelligent responses into all aspects of the company's work from search results to photo organisation.

Craig Federighi, a senior software executive at Apple, took over the Siri division previous year.

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.

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Giannandrea "will run Apple's machine learning and AI strategy", according to reports.

Apple, which was quick to develop its voice-based digital assistant Siri, fell behind with no access to data, the research talent and resources to approach AI development with the same robustness as the rivals.

In a change that led to the departure of Windows chief Terry Myerson, last week Microsoft announced plans to focus more on its cloud and AI services.

While Google has a "deep bench" in AI, the move is still a loss for Google and a win for Apple.

A recent Study by LoupVentures highlights the lagging intelligence of Siri when compared to her AI cousins - Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Only in the past year or so has Apple loosen its grip on its researchers enough to allow them to publish papers in the AI community. According to The Verge, while Apple follows strict ethical norms in data collection and user privacy, it has harmed the organization's ability to match other Silicon Valley giants.

On the debate over whether humanity should be anxious about the rapidly accelerating improvements in A.I., Mr. Giannandrea told MIT Technology Review in an interview previous year that the concerns were overblown.

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