Daniel Gross, a Director at Apple, is leaving the company to join venture capital firm Y Combinator as a partner, according to TechCrunch. Gross first joined Apple three years ago when Cue, an artificial intelligence startup he co-founded, was bought up by Apple.
Gross’s Cue app included an AI-driven personal assistant service that presented information like upcoming calendar appointments with context like location and contacts. Apple was believed to have paid around $40 million for the company back in 2013. Recent versions of iOS and macOS include AI features that can be traced in part back to the purchase.
As part of the acquisition, Gross joined Apple in a Director role before his departure. At Apple, Gross worked on machine learning and natural language processsing.
News of his exit comes on the same day as Swift creator Chris Lattner’s who is leaving the company for a new opportunity. Gross similarly told TC that he may explore a new startup company in the future.
Zoom out and Apple has been much more open about its AI efforts in recent months as competition from Google and Amazon have put pressure on Siri. Apple execs detailed their approach to machine learning and artificial intelligence in iOS 10 and Siri back in August.
Cue is hardly the only artificial intelligence firm Apple has bought in recent years. Recent talent and technology acquisitions focused on AI and ML include Turi, Perceptio, VocalIQ, Mapsense, Emotient, Coherent Navigation, and Semetric among others.
Image Credit: Michelle Le
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