Apple Reportedly Hires Former Twitter Engineer Michael Abbott, Who is 'Captivated' by AR and AI

by

Apple has reportedly hired engineer Michael Abbott for an unspecified role within the company, according to information obtained by MacGeneration [Google Translate]. Abbott's job history includes vice president of engineering for Twitter, team lead for the Azure cloud platform at Microsoft, and senior vice president of apps and services at Palm, where he helped create webOS.

More recently, Abbott served as a venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and invested in numerous start-ups and companies over the years, including Snapchat. In a personal update blog post shared last August, he explained that he would be stepping away from VC investing "over the next couple of months," and instead focus on his engineering passions again.

Michael Abbot via Recode

Ultimately, my desire to discover and invest in the next new thing became eclipsed by my desire to get my hands dirty again and build the next new thing. I have come to understand that my real passion lies in the grappling to understand, develop and build new technologies. Like you, perhaps, I am captivated by what AR could enable, and fascinated by ‘real’ applications of AI/ML, or how security techniques from the world of geopolitics are influencing enterprise technologies.

I was born and raised here in Silicon Valley. I grew up seeing and being inspired by the big names we take for granted today. Now with some graying hairs (but still a full head of hair for now!), a daughter in elementary school, and enough time since I last built a new technology and company, I am ready to do it again. I have more to build.

Since his move to Apple hasn't been confirmed, speculation suggests Abbott could be working on Siri development under Craig Federighi. His blog post also directly references being "captivated" by augmented reality and "real" applications of artificial intelligence and machine learning -- all areas that Apple and CEO Tim Cook have repeatedly referenced as being of great interest for the company.

The last few well publicized hires made by Apple have been mainly focused on the company's burgeoning streaming TV service, with Apple obtaining talent from Amazon, Hulu, and Legendary.

Update March 3: Abbott has confirmed the move on his LinkedIn page, noting only that he has served as a VP at Apple since February 2018.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
34 months ago
Siri is so useless that Apple just needs to start over at this point
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
34 months ago
I think what really ‘captivated’ him was the pay cheque offered
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
34 months ago
I'm a former Sony Pictures and 21st Century Fox employee and I would be captivated with AR too. Please hire me Apple. :P
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
34 months ago
After the first three words, this headline reads like the synopsis of a dystopian sci-fi film.

Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
34 months ago

Twitter is one of the best apps lmao. Social media and otherwise.

Its an awesome tool for one sided propaganda and maybe celebrity gossip. I mean cool if you’re into that. But the bastion of free speech that it once was is long gone
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
34 months ago

Siri is so useless that Apple just needs to start over at this point

So useless that it is by far the most used personal assistant in the world, in more languages than any other assistant, and that over a half a BILLION people on the planet USE REGULARLY. "

Siri sucks" is such a tired and phony internet meme. It's hardly definitive, but even look at the recent Loop Ventures test of Siri on the Homepod.

"One important thing to note here is that some of the queries tested by Loup Ventures are simply not supported by HomePod – (navigation, email, and calling, which Siri does well on the iPhone, but haven't been activated yet for initial roll out of the Homepod-) "when these types of queries were removed, HomePod successfully answer 67 percent of commands – putting it above Alexa and Cortana."

And like the best personal assistants, she is the only one who is discreet and preserves your privacy and security ;)
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iOS 14 Widgets Offer iPhone Users Creative Home Screen Ideas

Sunday September 20, 2020 8:43 pm PDT by
In iOS 14, Apple introduced ‌the concept of Home Screen‌ widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. Widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. Despite the relative lack of 3rd party widgets at launch, iOS users around the...

iPhone 12 Lineup Rumored to Be Named 'iPhone 12 mini,' 'iPhone 12,' 'iPhone 12 Pro,' and 'iPhone 12 Pro Max'

Monday September 21, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
Leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today shared the alleged naming for the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup on Twitter. The tweet proposes that the upcoming iPhone 12 models will be titled "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max." The names likely correspond to the three expected sizes of iPhone 12, with the 5.4-inch model being the iPhone 12 mini, the 6.7-inch model ...

Hands-On With the New Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE

Friday September 18, 2020 1:19 pm PDT by
Today's the official launch date for the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE, both of which Apple announced on Tuesday. We picked up a couple of the new models and thought we'd give them a quick look for MacRumors readers thinking of ordering a new watch. Apple Watch Series 6 & Apple Watch SE Hands-On! When it comes to design, both the $399 Series 6 and the $279 SE look just like...

iOS 14 Picture in Picture No Longer Working With YouTube's Mobile Website in Safari [Without Premium]

Friday September 18, 2020 12:21 pm PDT by
Apple in iOS 14 added Picture in Picture to the iPhone, a feature designed to let you watch a video in a small screen on your device while you continue to do other things on the phone. When Picture in Picture was working with YouTube The YouTube app doesn't support Picture in Picture, but up until yesterday there was a functional workaround that allowed videos from YouTube.com to be watched...

When Will the iPhone 12 Launch? Here's What We Know

Wednesday September 16, 2020 6:12 am PDT by
Yesterday's "Time Flies" Apple event saw the release of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad 8, and iPad Air 4, but no new iPhone models. Rumors before the event strongly alleged that it would not see the unveiling of new iPhones, with many reports pointing to an October launch. The lack of new iPhone models yesterday seems to confirm that the iPhone 12 lineup will not appear...

Here's How You Can Download iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Around the World [It's Out]

Wednesday September 16, 2020 2:36 am PDT by
Apple's official public release of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 dropped on Wednesday, September 16, just a day after the company released the Golden Master to third-party developers. Also set to be made available to the general public for the first time are watchOS 7 and tvOS 14. Getting Started With iOS 14 Video Click image to watch iOS 14 Getting Started While that's left a lot of developers...

AirPods Studio Rumored to Come With U1 Chip, Ultra-Wideband Said to Be Vital to Future Apple Ecosystem

Sunday September 20, 2020 6:17 am PDT by
Proven leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today shared a range of information about the ultra-wideband U1 chip in Apple's upcoming AirTags item trackers and AirPods Studio headphones. The first of a series of tweets shared today simply stated that AirPods Studio will contain an ultra-wideband U1 chip. It seems likely that the U1 chip would be used in AirPods Studio to track the location of...

Kuo: Apple to Accelerate Adoption of Mini-LED Displays in iPad and Mac Notebook Lineups

Sunday September 20, 2020 10:00 pm PDT by
Increased competition among Apple's suppliers for mini-LED display chips will accelerate the company's adoption of the advanced technology in its iPad and MacBook lineups, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo seen by MacRumors. Kuo says that while Epistar had been predicted to be the exclusive supplier of mini-LED chips for Apple products in 2021, Sanan Optoelectronics...

Top Stories: Apple Event Recap, Apple Watch Series 6, Redesigned iPad Air, and More

Saturday September 19, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
This week's news was obviously dominated by Apple's media event and the launch of iOS 14, but there was a lot to digest, so check out our summary below for the high-level view of the past week. With the exception of the massively redesigned iPad Air, all of the new hardware introduced this week is starting to appear on store shelves and on customers' doorsteps, while all of the new software...

Apple Updates AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro Firmware to Version 3A283

Monday September 14, 2020 11:24 am PDT by
Apple today released new 3A283 firmware updates for the second-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro. The second-generation AirPods are being updated from the 2D15 firmware they were previously running, while the AirPods Pros are being updated from the 2D27 firmware they had installed previously. Apple does not provide details on what's included in refreshed firmware so we don't know what's ...