In an email message to staff that wound up in the hands of the New York Times, Cook said that Giannandrea “shares our commitment to privacy and our thoughtful approach”, speaking on the company’s thus far slow and cautious approach to expanding its AI programs.
Siri still remains a hot topic for jokes due to its lack of sophistication.
Giannandrea joined Google in 2010 following the search giant’s acquisition of Metaweb, a firm where he was serving as chief technology officer. Among the signatories to the letter, which is circulating inside the company, are dozens of senior engineers at Google, the Times said.
Others have voiced concerns that simply the association with the military is going to have a negative impact on Google’s reputation particularly at a time when the public hasn’t really been warming up to artificial intelligence. Apple’s new iOS and WatchOS added more Siri functions, and the new HomePod home speaker is run nearly entirely through Siri.
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.
Giannandrea is also known for his unique view on future and AI in general.
As Alexa and Google Assistant hog the limelight with their intelligence, Apple finds itself on the back foot – especially after launching its HomePod smart speaker with a version of Siri inferior to that on iPhones and Macs. They also showed much hesitation before finally joining an ethical AI research consortium which was co-founded by Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, and IBM.
Google’s former head of search and artificial intelligence, John Giannandrea announced that he was stepping down from the role earlier this week, prompting veteran Jeff Dean to take his place. Apple relies on publicly-available data, which limits its AI push as compared to its rivals. But, since neural networks which are required for deep learning and self-improving software requires huge chunks of data, Apple will still be at a slight disadvantage. VP of Core Search Ben Gomes is looking at a promotion in the former department, whereas artificial intelligence is getting its own separate unit, to be managed by renowned computer scientist Jeff Dean, who’s been with Google for almost two decades now.