Apple has hired John Giannandrea, Google's former head of search and artificial intelligence. The news comes a day after he announced his exit from Google, reports The New York Times. Giannandrea is a machine learning expert who became a part of Google back in 2010, will be of great use to Apple which has struggled to make huge advancements in the AI department like computer vision and natural language processing. The NYT report also says that Giannandrea will report directly to CEO Tim Cook as the leader of "machine learning and AI strategy."
Currently, both Google and Facebook are powerhouses when talking about AI, followed by Amazon and Microsoft. Both firms have employed hundreds of researchers working across different domains that frequently publishes substantive papers that help inform internal products and the collective AI research community at large.
Apple, although was one of the first companies to pave way for voice-based digital assistants with Siri, it really never had the research data nor the resources to approach AI development as its rivals.
Siri still remains a hot topic for jokes due to its lack of sophistication. Google Assistant is far ahead when it comes to quality levels, as it uses the same algorithms that power Google Translate and Google Image search. Siri also lags behind Amazon's Alexa which is currently the leader in the smart home industry.
Besides boosting its AI capabilities, Apple is also taking advantage of the ongoing data leak outcry. The company is said to be working on a privacy feature with a new Apple ID tool that will allow users to download all their personal information. The tool will also give users the authority to delete the information that's stored on Apple's servers.
According to a report from Bloomberg, this tool is an attempt to put things in line with European Union's new General Data Protection Regulation that will come into effect starting May 25, where new privacy protection regulations for the internet users will be introduced. Apple will let users see what data has been stored on the servers and allow them to download everything or just specific items individually such as contacts, photos, calendar entries and others.
The company will also allow users to completely delete their Apple IDs, which was earlier possible only by contacting the company. The new Apple ID site will commence proceedings in Europe in May ahead of the given deadline, while other countries will be able to use the new service in the coming months, though no specific time frame is provided.