Apple Ropes in Google AI Talent, Builds Lab in Zurich

Apple is expanding its AI capabilities by hiring AI experts from Google and establishing a lab in Zurich, aiming to stay ahead in the AI race.
Apple Ropes in Google AI Talent, Builds Lab in Zurich

Apple has reportedly been roping in AI experts from Google to expand its global AI and machine learning team. The company has particularly attracted at least 36 specialists from Google since it poached John Giannandrea (Apple's SVP of ML and AI Strategy) to be its top AI executive in 2018.

Apple's top AI team is now made up of former key figures from Google, including Giannandrea, who previously oversaw Google Brain, the search company's AI lab. The company has also hired Samy Bengio, Senior Director of AI and ML Research (former Google AI scientist), and Ruoming Pang, who leads Apple's "Foundation Models" team working on LLMs (previously led Google’s AI speech recognition research).

Further, six former Google employees hired over the past two years were listed among the authors of a significant research paper published in March, in which Apple revealed it had developed a family of AI models known as “MM1” that use text and visual inputs to generate responses.

A Financial Times report mentions Apple acquiring two AI start-ups in Zurich, leading to the establishment of its "Vision Lab" in the city.

The Zurich-based employees have reportedly been involved in research into the technology that powers products such as OpenAI's ChatGPT chatbot, focusing on advanced AI models that incorporate text and visual inputs. The Zurich Lab, however, is shrouded in secrecy.

As per multiple news reports, Apple is actively working on bringing generative AI to its mobile devices. This would mean AI chatbots and apps could operate on the iPhone itself, rather than relying on cloud services in data centers.

Apple's foray into generative AI features may be unveiled at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference, happening in June later this year.

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