Apple Hires Carnegie Mellon Researcher to Lead AI Team
Carnegie Mellon University professor Russ Salakhutdinov has been hired by Apple to lead a team focused on artificial intelligence, according to a tweet Salakhutdinov sent out this morning. He will continue to teach at Carnegie Mellon, but will also serve as "Director of AI Research" at Apple.
In his tweet, Salakhutdinov says he is seeking additional research scientists with machine learning expertise to join his team. An included job posting asks that candidates have experience with Deep Learning, Computer Vision, Machine Learning, Reinforcement Learning, Optimization, and/or Data Mining.
Salakhutdinov specializes in statistical machine learning and has authored many papers on neural networks, deep kernel learning, reinforcement learning, and other related topics.
His expertise may be used to improve services like Siri, which has been in the spotlight recently after journalist Walt Mossberg wrote a piece calling the personal assistant "limited," "unreliable," and "dumb." Siri is powered by a neural network and uses machine learning techniques to improve over time, as do other Apple features like Spotlight, QuickType, Photos, autocorrect, Maps, and more.
Salakhutdinov's hiring comes as rumors suggest Apple is aiming to improve Siri as part of an effort to build the personal assistant into an Amazon Echo-like smart home product that would be able to do things like control smart home accessories.
Apple is also on the verge of finishing an R&D research center in Yokohama, Japan, which will focus on "deep engineering" and developing Apple's artificial intelligence services.