Apple Poaches AI Guru from Google

Apple Poaches AI Guru from Google
The company hopes that the new hire will be able to breathe new life into Siri

(CCM) — Apple has persuaded Google's chief of search and artificial intelligence to jump ship and come to the rescue of the ailing Siri intelligent assistant. John Giannandrea will join Apple to run the company's "machine learning and AI strategy," according to a New York Times report.

The Scotsman was deeply involved in developing the AI technology used in Google's Assistant, as well as leading the push to integrate AI into Google products such as Gmail and internet research, the report says.

It is likely that one of Giannandrea's first tasks will be to revitalize Siri, Apple's intelligent assistant which is built in to iPhones and the company's HomePod connected speaker. Siri was launched before Google's Assistant and Amazon's Echo, but it is widely held to be far less useful and capable.

The hire is something of a coup for Apple, as Giannandrea is one of the leading AI experts in Silicon Valley. He joined Google in 2010 when it purchased technology start-up Metaweb, where he was chief technology officer.

The company has also recruited other high-profile AI experts recently, and appears to be making a major push to compete with Google and Amazon on a more level AI playing field.

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