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Apple's AI 'Coup,' Explained

Apple's AI 'Coup,' Explained
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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) notched a "major coup" Tuesday when it hired John Giannandrea, Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL)'s Google unit's chief of search and artificial intelligence, The New York Times reported.

What Happened

At Apple, Giannandrea will be in charge of running the company's machine learning and artificial intelligence strategy.

His objective is to make "computers even smarter and more personal," according to a letter sent to Apple employees and obtained by The New York Times.

Why It's Important

Apple secured a "win" by poaching Giannandrea from Google as "talent follows talent," Loup Ventures' Gene Munster said in a blog post. It's likely that a few other Google employees will follow Giannandrea's out the door, although the competition for top talent remains fierce, Munster said. 

Giannandrea was likely given freedom to work on projects he is "more passionate about" and to build something new at Apple, Munster said. The executive is one of the most senior experts in one of the most in-demand fields in the world, and the "conversation around compensation was probably short," he said. 

What's Next

Artificial intelligence will become an increasingly larger part of Apple's business even in unexpected products, Munster said. For example, wearables like AR glasses and even AirPods will make use of AI technologies like image recognition, ambient listening and smart notifications, he said. 

"In other words, these devices need to know what you want and when you want it," Munster said. "With our phones, we directly control the information that we want when we want it; in the future of computing, AI will anticipate the same information."

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Photo courtesy of Apple. 

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