Apple has hired former Google scientist Samy Bengio, who left Google amid turmoil in its artificial intelligence (A.I.) research department.
Bengio is expected to lead a new AI research unit at Apple under John Giannandrea, senior vice president of machine learning and AI strategy, two people familiar with the matter said. Giannandrea joined Apple in 2018 after spending about eight years at Google.
Bengio who left Google last week after about 14 years said last month he was pursuing “other exciting opportunities.”
His decision followed Google’s firings of fellow scientists Margaret Mitchell for taking company data and Timnit Gebru after an offer to resign. Bengio had expressed support for the pair.
As one of the early leaders of the Google Brain research team, Bengio advanced the “deep learning” algorithms that underpin today’s AI systems for analyzing images, speech and other data.
MacDailyNews Note: In February, Reuters reported, “Alphabet Inc’s Google fired staff scientist Margaret Mitchell on Friday, they both said, a move that fanned company divisions on academic freedom and diversity that were on display since its December dismissal of AI ethics researcher Timnit Gebru.”
“Google said in a statement Mitchell violated the company’s code of conduct and security policies by moving electronic files outside the company,” Reuters reported. “Google’s ethics in artificial intelligence work has been under scrutiny since the firing of Gebru, a scientist who gained prominence for exposing bias in facial analysis systems. The dismissal prompted thousands of Google workers to protest. She and Mitchell had called for greater diversity and inclusion among Google’s research staff and expressed concern that the company was starting to censor papers critical of its products. Gebru said Google fired her after she questioned an order not to publish a study saying AI that mimics language could hurt marginalized populations. Mitchell, a co-author of the paper, publicly criticized the company for firing Gebru and undermining the credibility of her work.”