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Apple hires Google's head of search, Strathclyde Uni graduate John Giannandrea

05 April 2018

"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". Apple may be one of the most loved companies, but its search engine and search ad platform are lacking in the nuances that make Google the most desirable.

In 2016, he was named the head of a new combined division at Google, pairing its powerful search unit and artificial intelligence divisions, after Amit Singhal, Google's longtime search czar, left. The hire is an absolute victory for Apple.

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

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Blogger and Apple commentator John Gruber said that Giannandrea's appointment may come to be regarded as "one of the most significant Apple executive hires ever". He also said that Giannandrea shares its commitment to privacy and its thoughtful approach as it make computers even smarter and more personal.

Apple has found Siri to be at the front and centre about the accusations of being less-effective and unintelligent when compared to its other AI cousins - Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Giannandrea joined Google in 2010 as part of the company's acquisition of Metaweb, the company behind Freebase, a community-driven database of data and information which was eventually leveraged to augment Google search results. The same is also expected to improve the capabilities of Siri that has always lagged behind its peers so far as AI capabilities are concerned. Giannandrea's technology formed the basis of Google's "Knowledge Graph", which quickly surfaces information at the top of the search. Giannandrea will focus on AI technology that supports Siri, while Federighi will likely still oversee the user-facing components. Apple stresses user privacy to a greater degree than Google, which offers free and ad-supported services with the understanding that Google might use your data to improve its technology. He had been the head of Google search for the last two years and was appointed to that position as Google rolled AI into products used by millions of people around the world. Machine learning experts are in high demand in Silicon Valley, with salaries often exceeding eight figures.

Apple hires Google's head of search, Strathclyde Uni graduate John Giannandrea