Apple has poached one of Google’s top artificial intelligence engineers as it continues to build up its AI team. Apple recently hired Google’s Ian Goodfellow to join its “Special Projects Group” as a director of machine learning, according to his LinkedIn profile.
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CNBC was first to report on Goodfellow joining Apple’s machine learning team. Goodfellow is referred to as “the father of general adversarial networks, or GANs.” This technology can be used generate fake media content, as CNBC explains:
Goodfellow is the father of an AI approach known as general adversarial networks, or GANs. The approach draws on two networks, one known as a generative network and the other known as a discriminative network, and can be used to come up with unusual and creative outputs in the form of audio, video and text.
GAN systems have been used to generate “deepfake” fake media content.
Goodfellow’s LinkedIn page indicates that he left Google for Apple last month. His official title at the company is “Director of Machine Learning in the Special Projects Group.” Prior to Google, he worked at OpenAI.
Apple’s hiring of Goodfellow comes one year after it hired Google’s chief of search and artificial intelligence, John Giannandrea. Last December, Giannandrea was promoted to Apple’s SVP of Machine Learning and AI Strategy, reporting directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook. Earlier this year, Apple’s Siri VP exited his role following a shift in strategy by Giannandrea.
Apple also recently grouped its artificial intelligence teams, with Giannandrea overseeing everything. This change brought together the Siri and Core ML teams. In November, Apple acquired the privacy-focused artificial intelligence startup Silk Labs.
Google confirmed the departure of Goodfellow in a statement, while Apple declined to comment.
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