Revealing its future plans, Apple has formally announced to make ex-Google executive John Giannandrea its Chief of Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy. Reporting to CEO Tim Cook, Giannandrea who joined Apple in April will be in charge of Apple's ML division, Siri and the Core ML team, the company updating its executive leadership page, said.
Giannandrea will look after further development of Core ML and Siri technologies. With Core ML, third-party developers can integrate trained ML models into their apps. Prior to Apple, Giannandrea spent eight years at Google where he led the Machine Intelligence, Research and Search teams. Before it, he co-founded two technology companies -- Tellme Networks and Metaweb Technologies.
At Google, Giannandrea took the role of Senior Vice President of Engineering from Amit Singhal in early 2016, signalling Google's emphasis on weaving ML and AI into its Search engine. According to media reports, Apple lags behind from Google and Amazon in key AI areas like Natural Language Processing (NLP) and computer vision needed to power voice assistant features in Siri.
Apple has invested in Siri and HomeKit to compete with Google Home and Alexa-based smart home systems. In 2017, Apple added an AI chip called Neural Engine to the A11 Bionic for the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X to work with the Image Signal Processor (ISP). Apple has posted several job openings for AI/ML engineers at its different offices globally.