Apple Snags Google AI Expert Ian Goodfellow

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Apple has recently snagged one of Google’s top artificial intelligence researchers, Ian Goodfellow, according to a report from iDownloadBlog.

The news, which was first reported by CNBC, stated that Goodfellow “updated his LinkedIn profile on Thursday to acknowledge that he moved from Google to Apple in March.” The update also indicated he will be stepping into the position of director for machine learning at the company’s Special Projects group. The report went on to note that he could also be working to developing AI for features like Face ID and Siri on Apple’s devices. Goodfellow’s departure from Google was later confirmed by a spokesperson for the company.

Goodfellow is one of the most popular names in artificial intelligence for his work with Generative Adversarial Network (GAN). GANs can be used to create convincing fake images and videos of humans and real-world objects, and are integral to a lot of “deepfake” software. He has worked at Google from 2013 to 2016, then again from 2017 and 2019. During his last five months at Google, he served as Senior Staff Research Scientist. Goodfellow also worked at OpenAI, which is a lab founded by Elon Musk.

Apple is also rumored to be working to “develop autonomous systems for vehicles, a project that certainly requires top AI engineers,” according to a report from The Verge. Apple analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, has predicted the company could have self-driving cars on the road by 2025, according to a report from Mashable.

This isn’t the first time Apple has poached one of Google’s top researchers in AI. Just last April, the iPhone-maker hired Google’s head of AI and Goodfellow’s former boss, John Giannandrea.

“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,” Tim Cook wrote in an internal email, according to a report from The New York Times.

The company also made headlines last week after it was reported that its senior director in platform architecture, Gerard Williams III, left the company, as previously reported by The Inquisitr. The reason for Williams’ departure has not been revealed, but during his time at the company, Williams was in charge of the development of the majority Apple’s processors beginning with the A7 chip, which was placed into the older iPhone 5S models, to the company’s most recent A12X chip, which is currently being used in the new iPad Pro devices. It’s believed that Williams’ work may also be included in Apple’s 2019 iPhone lineup.