Last month, Apple took a major step towards strengthening its AI team by hiring Ian Goodfellow, a researcher in the field of machine learning. He is best known for his projects in artificial intelligence at Google as the director of machine learning in the Special Projects Group. The news broke just last week when Goodfellow updated his LinkedIn profile from Senior Staff Research Scientist at Google to Director of machine learning at Apple.
Google’s artificial intelligence expert Ian Goodfellow joins Apple’s Special Projects Group as a director of machine learning https://t.co/sabpizaUUf pic.twitter.com/5U4Mpu2XW4
— iDownloadBlog (@iDownloadBlog) April 5, 2019
Andrew Ng, former head of Baidu AI Group/Google Brain gave best wishes to Ian Goodfellow, saying his former student Ian joins Apple.
My former student Ian Goodfellow moving to Apple is the big ML news of today. Best of luck @goodfellow_ian, and congrats @tim_cook for getting him! https://t.co/y6Vixw2abJ
— Andrew Ng (@AndrewYNg) April 5, 2019
Ian Goodfellow’s tech contribution
Ian Goodfellow is a researcher in machine learning who has contributed towards Generative Adversarial Networks, or GANs. Goodfellow has previously interned at Willow Garage, the robotics research lab that brought the Robotics Operating System. At Google, he contributed to TensorFlow related project and also was a member of the Google Brain team. He has previously worked at OpenAI, an AI research consortium which was originally funded by Elon Musk and other tech leaders.
Apple’s interest in AI
It seems Apple is trying to rank higher amongst the FAANG (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google) in the field of Artificial Intelligence. Just last year Apple hired John Giannandrea as the senior vice president of Machine Learning and AI Strategy who previously worked as the head of AI and search at Google and managed the AI strategy there.
Apple clearly taking AI very seriously. Like Andrej Karpathy of Tesla, Ian Goodfellow also previously worked at OpenAI, a consortium originally funded by Elon: https://t.co/czyGg2DsvP
— teslainvernon (@teslainvernon) April 5, 2019
Apart from exploring AI for features like FaceID and Siri, Apple has been also working on autonomous driving technology. Tim Cook, CEO at Apple has referred autonomous vehicle as “the mother of all AI projects” in scale which is also supposed to be a project similar to the Special Projects.
Apple has reportedly absorbed the co-founders and few staff members of Lighthouse, maker of AI-powered home security cameras after buying the patents of Lighthouse AI.
Tough times for Google
The news regarding the switch of Goodfellow to Apple comes when the newly formed Advanced Technology External Advisory Council aimed to help Google with the major issues in AI such as facial recognition and machine learning fairness, gets dissolved. The AI team at Google seems to be in a major fix with the latest development happening in the company.
To know more about this news, check out the post by CNBC.
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