A.I. defector gives Apple access to Google’s secrets

“Unlike top football players, the biggest stars among Silicon Valley’s computer engineers hardly ever defect to rival teams,” Richard Waters reports for The Financial Times. “So when they do, it is usually a sign that the tech world’s tectonic plates are shifting.”

“There have been few bigger transfers than that of John Giannandrea, who until this week was the search and artificial intelligence chief at Google,” Waters reports. “On Monday an internal reshuffle at the search company brought news that he was moving back to a pure technology role. That was followed on Tuesday by his abrupt departure for a newly created position as head of AI at rival Apple — something that clearly came as an unpleasant surprise to his former Google colleagues.”

Waters reports, “‘It’s a good move for Apple to have someone at that level — he must have complete knowledge of everything Google was doing,’ said Stuart Russell, a professor of AI at the University of California, Berkeley.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Sleep tight, Google!

This is a major coup for Apple.MacDailyNews, April 4, 2018

Gene Munster: Poaching AI chief John Giannandrea from Google a win for Apple – April 5, 2018
Apple hires Google’s A.I. chief to improve Siri – April 4, 2018


  1. I am sure he is bound by an NDA. He can use his knowledge of Google’s secrets in his formation of Apple competitive, but I am sure he can’t legally copy or communicate those secrets.

  2. I don’t think Apple would need his secrets about Google because Google works in a different manner to how Apple works.

    What Apple will benefit from is having his expertise applied to designing AI systems optimised for the way that Apple uses them.

    It sounds to me like it is a very important hiring for Apple.

  3. He’s not going to give Apple Google’s secrets, because that’s specifically illegal. Remember what happened to Waymo and Uber? That’s what will happen here. He’s bringing his expertise and overall knowledge and experience. He’s a very smart guy, smart enough to know not to share anything from his work at Google.

  4. Siri is said to be quite far behind the rest of the field, so it’s not as though Siri is going to get smart overnight. Siri is behind because Apple likely isn’t using all the resources it can actually muster. It’s not as though hiring this one person is going to put Siri at the head of the pack. Jeff Bezos isn’t a slacker and he’s going to keep pushing the Alexa team to stay ahead of the pack.

    Let’s just hope through a lot of hard work and development, John Giannandrea will turn Siri into, at least, a respectable voice assistant and move it out of last place. I’m just happy Apple is finally doing the things it should have been doing all along despite sitting on a mountain of cash. It’s one thing when a company is struggling trying to balance an R&D budget but something quite sad when a wealthy company is happily coasting along without effort and falling behind.

    I don’t think smart voice assistants are anything special but apparently there are many people who do. Apple has to make some chess moves to stay competitive as any weaknesses are perceived as Apple falling behind other rival tech companies, especially Amazon which is constantly praised for everything it does. Investors clearly aren’t going to invest in companies they feel are falling behind in any area. What’s worse, Apple is expected to excel in everything because it charges more for its products.

  5. At JG’s level of experience, he isn’t going to be coding.

    John is going to be working at the top end in planning and strategies which set up the way systems will work.

  6. i would think mr schmidt should understand this betrayal of trust remarkably well. unless i’m completely wrong, in which case, i should feel obliged to atone for my wrongness.

  7. The Beatles took Black music, reshaped it, returned it to America, and overwhelmed the music world with many #1 hits.

    In the same way, John Giannandrea, who may have stolen Apple’s IPs, could reshape them, return them to Apple, and overwhelm the AI world with many fabulous and delightful products and services.

  8. I don’t trust Google. He has been one of them for a long time. To blindly trust him would be a mistake. Hopefully, Apple has a security team in place that monitors all employees, especially new top level ones. I wouldn’t put anything past Google. I sound paranoid, but Eric The Mole Schmidt comes to mind and was hiding in plsinnsite. Money speaks volumes over an NDA to many. They say everybody has a price. I don’t want to believe that, but… The double agent techie sounds like an obvious game plan and one that is probably already happening but not yet been discovered.

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