It was reported earlier this week that there was a personnel change within Google’s search organization. Ben Gomes is now in charge of all search, and Jeff Dean took over Google Brain and AI. This is because the former Google SVP of Engineering John Giannandrea has moved to Apple to run AI efforts there.
Giannandrea “will run Apple’s machine learning and AI strategy,” according to reports. He’ll be reporting directly to Tim Cook, the CEO of the company.
Although Google has been doing very well for themselves in regards to AI, this move is still a loss for Google, and a win for Apple. He was instrumental in infusing AI into all of Google’s main products, including search.
It’s not clear as to why Giannandrea chose to leave Google or join Apple. Even then, Apple really needed him, so they could play catch up with the likes of not just Google, but Microsoft, and arguably Amazon, in terms of AI. Not only that, it’s currently unknown what Giannandrea’s direct involvement with Siri will be.
Last month, there was a discussion coming from The Information that discussed a number of different internal and management problems that have plagued development of Siri. It even explains why it has fallen behind Google Assistant and Alexa.