Apple hires top AI expert Ian Goodfellow from Google

The new hire comes just a few months after Apple made John Giannandrea, another former Google AI expert, a part of its executive team.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Apple has apparently hired away one of Google's pioneering AI experts, Ian Goodfellow. As CNBC first noted, Goodfellow's LinkedIn profile says he joined Apple in March as a Director of Machine Learning in the Special Projects Group.  

At Google, Goodfellow was a senior staff research scientist. He also previously served as a research scientist at the nonprofit research organization OpenAI.

Goodfellow is known for inventing a form of machine learning training algorithms called generative adversarial networks (GANs). GANs are effectively two AI systems that are pitted against each other. Working against each other, they both improve.

Goodfellow joins Apple almost exactly a year after Apple hired John Giannandrea, Google's former search and artificial intelligence chief. In December, Apple made Giannandrea a part of its executive team, appointing him senior vice president of machine learning and artificial intelligence strategy.

Upon elevating Giannandrea to the executive team, Apple CEO Tim Cook called machine learning and AI a "critical area" for the company. "Machine learning and AI are important to Apple's future as they are fundamentally changing the way people interact with technology, and already helping our customers live better lives," he said in a statement.

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