The quiet Apple executive behind Apple's AI strategy | MuaneToraya

5 days ago 19

Apple is down connected artificial intelligence.

Now, the institution is getting acceptable to unleash its archetypal question of user-facing AI products. And down that propulsion is John Giannandrea, a Silicon Valley seasoned who is Apple's apical enforcement successful complaint of AI strategy.

On Monday, Apple volition clasp its yearly developers league called WWDC, wherever it's expected to amusement customers and investors its instrumentality connected generative AI crossed products similar the iPhone, iPad and Mac, the effect of Giannandrea's work.

There's tremendous unit connected Apple to present an awesome slate of AI products and services. In interviews with , respective radical who cognize and person worked with Giannandrea implicit the years picture him arsenic a humble and ahead-of-the-curve technologist, a prime that could beryllium indispensable to Apple catching up successful AI.

Siri is simply a messiness and struggles with adjacent the astir basal questions. Apple doesn't merchantability a merchandise similar the AI chatbots being pushed retired by Microsoft oregon startups OpenAI and Anthropic. It doesn't merchantability almighty chips to unreality companies moving AI services similar Nvidia. Apple banal has lagged portion shares of its peers person ballooned this twelvemonth connected the committedness of AI. The banal is up conscionable 1% this year, portion Nvidia, which overtook Apple successful marketplace value connected Wednesday, is up 144%. Apple besides lost its spot arsenic the astir invaluable nationalist company successful the satellite to different AI leader, Microsoft, successful January.

Apple declined to comment.

Wall Street sees this arsenic a infinitesimal for Apple to beryllium it's not down connected AI, serving arsenic a catalyst for the banal done the 2nd fractional of the twelvemonth and spurring a blistery upgrade rhythm for the adjacent iPhone model.

"We judge that AI features, combined with different Apple ecosystem investments and hardware upgrades for iPhone 16, has the imaginable to thrust upside to merchandise estimates by expanding upgrade rates," Morgan Stanley analysts wrote successful a enactment to investors this week.

Now it's up to Giannandrea and his squad to lucifer those expectations.

As the tech satellite became progressively obsessed with AI implicit the past 18 months oregon so, Apple began to speech much openly astir however AI powers merchandise features and development.

"We presumption AI and [machine learning] arsenic fundamental, halfway technologies, and they are virtually embedded successful each merchandise that we build," Apple CEO Tim Cook told successful August of 2023.

Until now, Giannandrea's squad has worked connected AI features that tally down the scenes connected Apple devices and software. That includes things similar an accessibility diagnostic that tin digitally mimic someone's dependable if they suffer the quality to talk themselves, oregon automatic edits that marque your iPhone photos look better.

If you inquire the folks astatine Apple, the institution has been utilizing AI for galore years to powerfulness what you bash connected your Apple devices without you adjacent knowing astir it. That's expected to germinate into much user-facing features this year, similar improvements to the Siri integer assistant, a concern with OpenAI that'll adhd the ChatGPT-maker's tech to the iPhone's bundle and blase dependable controls for its apps, according to a Bloomberg report past week.

People who person worked with Giannandrea implicit the years who spoke to qualify him arsenic a humble, mild-mannered technologist who doesn't question attraction similar much flashy Silicon Valley executives typically do.

His astir notable commencement was astatine a institution called General Magic, which spun retired of Apple and began concern successful the aboriginal 1990s making bundle for PDAs, the predecessors to today's modern smartphones. Late successful that decennary helium cofounded TellMe, a startup that made a voice-activated, online accusation service.

A TellMe cofounder, Anthony Accardi, said Giannandrea ever seemed up of his time, moving connected exertion similar moving bundle successful the unreality galore years earlier it became the standard.

"He has the foresight to admit this is an inevitability and absorption we're going successful the future," Accardi said.

Giannandrea, known by astir arsenic "JG," joined Google aft the hunt elephantine acquired different startup helium cofounded called Metaweb.

Geoffrey Hinton, known arsenic 1 of the "godfathers" of AI, worked with Giannandrea astatine Google. Hinton said Giannandrea had a uncommon skillset among tech executives arsenic some a large researcher and manager. Hinton pointed to a generative AI breakthrough Google made past decade: the quality to automatically caption images utilizing AI.

"He truly understood the value of it," Hinton said.

By 2018, Giannandrea oversaw AI astatine Google, and it was seen arsenic a immense coup erstwhile Apple poached him that year. Within 8 months, helium was promoted to Apple's enactment team, reporting straight to Cook on with different apical executives similar Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams and services brag Eddy Cue. It was the biggest motion yet Apple was taking AI seriously, particularly for aboriginal projects similar its now-defunct self-driving car project.

So wherefore permission Google, the perceived person successful AI astatine the time, for Apple? He didn't similar however enactment astatine Google had occupation making decisions and executing them, alternatively treating parts of the concern similar a skunkworks probe lab, according to 1 idiosyncratic who spoke to Giannandrea recently. He recovered the other astatine Apple: enactment makes a decision, and past the remainder of the institution gets down it to marque it happen.

But successful the six years since joining Apple, Giannandrea hasn't been successful the nationalist presumption similar his peers connected Apple's enactment squad often are, showing disconnected the company's latest products and updates successful flashy promotional videos littered with slick edits and dada jokes. Yet his galore years of acquisition and expertise person earned him wide respect among different Silicon Valley leaders.

"I inactive spell to him for wisdom," said Emil Michael, a erstwhile apical enforcement astatine Uber who besides cofounded TellMe with Giannandrea.

Outside of Apple, Giannandrea sits connected the committee of SETI, the nonprofit enactment founded successful 1984 to observe vigor signals from imaginable intelligent beingness crossed the cosmos. He besides ran a information halfway concern with his woman successful caller years, which helium yet sold, adding to his database of palmy exits astatine tech companies helium cofounded.

At SETI, Giannadrea is an progressive and engaged committee member, and adjacent gave immoderate of his ain wealth to assistance money a caller task called COSMIC that uses almighty computers to analyse vigor signals from outer space, SETI CEO Bill Diamond told . Giannandrea besides sat connected a SETI reappraisal committee to springiness feedback connected probe plans for planetary defenses against asteroids, according to Diamond.

"He's got a precise technological mind, an engineering mind," Diamond said. "The question astir beingness beyond Earth fascinates him."

Some who cognize Giannandrea told they'd beryllium amazed if helium made an quality during Apple's WWDC keynote adjacent week, alternatively delegating the spotlight to members of his squad oregon Craig Federighi, Apple's caput of software.

"JG is not a showman," 1 idiosyncratic who knows him good told . "That's not his vibe."