Apple has hired Google’s head of search and artificial intelligence

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Yesterday, Google SVP of Engineering in charge of search and artificial intelligence John Giannandrea announced his departure from the company. Now the reason for that departure is clear: he’s been hired by Apple to lead the company’s “machine learning and A.I. strategy,” reporting directly to CEO Tim Cook.

The New York Times obtained an email from Cook to Apple staff explaining the new hire thusly:

Our technology must be infused with the values we all hold dear… John shares our commitment to privacy and our thoughtful approach as we make computers even smarter and more personal.

Giannandrea joined Google in 2010 as part of the company’s acquisition of Metaweb, the company behind Freebase, a community-driven database of data and information which was eventually leveraged to augment Google search results. He has also worked as Chief Technologist for Netscape, and he sits on the board of trustees for the SETI institute.

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