Back in January, then Google SVP of Engineering John Giannandrea was hired by Apple to oversee its machine learning and artificial intelligence efforts. Giannandrea, during his stay at Google, was responsible for machine learning improvements to various Google products, including search, Google Assistant, and Gmail.
During that time, it wasn’t clear how Giannandrea was involved with Siri. Even then, it was clear Siri needed some help. Apple merged Siri and its machine learning groups earlier this week under the leadership of Giannandrea, and is now known as “Chief of Machine Learning and AI Strategy.”
His bio on the Apple site now reads:
John Giannandrea is Apple’s Chief of Machine Learning and AI Strategy, reporting to CEO Tim Cook. John joined Apple in 2018 and oversees the strategy for Artificial Intelligence and machine learning across the company and development of Core ML and Siri technologies.
When it comes to conventional wisdom, companies like Google, Microsoft and Amazon is far ahead of Apple when it comes to machine learning and AI research and development. In January, The Information discussed internal problems that plagued the development of Siri, as well as why it potentially fell behind Alexa and Google Assistant.
Siri used to be known as the cool kid in town, but now, it’s seen as both a laggard, as well as not as accurate as its competitors.
It would seem that Giannandrea is just the right pick to help reinvigorate Siri, especially with his experience at Google, as well as being a co-founder of voice recognition pioneer, Tellme and semantic knowledge platform Metaweb.