Apple's Special Projects Group Gains Former Google Machine Learning Expert

Apple in March hired Ian Goodfellow as its director of machine learning in the Special Projects Group, according to Goodfellow's LinkedIn profile that was shared by CNBC.

Prior to joining Apple, Goodfellow worked at Google as a senior staff research scientist, and before that, he was an Open AI research scientist.


As outlined by CNBC, Goodfellow is known for creating GANs, or Generative Adversarial Networks, a concept where two deep neural net architectures (one generative and one discriminative) are pitted against each other to generate creative content.

GANs have been used to create fake art and deepfakes, aka fake digital images that are indistinguishable from real images.

While at Google, Goodfellow worked on GANs technology and security. It's not clear what he's doing at Apple, but the company's machine learning techniques are used for many elements of its software.

Apple has been working on bolstering its AI and machine learning efforts in recent years, with another former Google employee, John Giannandrea, heading up those divisions.

Giannandrea, who likely oversees Goodfellow's work, was named Apple's senior vice president of machine learning and AI strategy back in December, just months after his original April hiring.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
18 months ago
Every now and again, I get the impression that silicon valley is just one big game of musical chairs.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
18 months ago
I love hearing that Apple has people working on projects without an immediate pay off. That’s the kind of pie in the sky stuff that great companies like Bell Labs did for years.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
18 months ago
So, is Google doomed now that two people in their AI division have jumped ship?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
18 months ago
This is one of the benefits of hiring someone like Giannandrea—he knows who to take out from his old group. There are probably dozens more from Google at less senior levels as well.

Giannandrea is a Srouji-level hire, these guys are worth their weight in Apple RSUs. But of course it’s not really about compensation; the important thing is the opportunity to do the best work of your life, surrounded by others who are equally passionate about their work.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
18 months ago

so far, all this "deep machine learning" has gotten us is the "For You" tab in the photos app and weird collections of algorithm chosen collections.
It seems that "machine learning" is the current buzzword (like "internet website" was back in the eighties)

It's a phase that we sometimes have to go through in order to workout/discover exactly how to integrate new technology into our daily lives.

The early days of electricity, entrepreneurs put it into everything. Some things worked out, some didn't. Same thing with radios and TVs. As the tech improved and reduced the physical size, they were slapped into anything as people just threw things against the wall to see what would stick. Same thing here. Enjoy the ride knowing that somewhere, someone is working on Alexa enabled public urinals.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
18 months ago

So, is Google doomed now that two people in their AI division have jumped ship?

No. Doom only happens when someone leaves Apple, silly.
[doublepost=1554419170][/doublepost]

Remember in the 80s when they just there a digital clock into everything? Or a little solar panel?

Remember?!?! I still have the toaster-clock my bank gave me!
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple-Acquired Dark Sky Officially Shuts Down Android App

Saturday August 1, 2020 3:43 pm PDT by
Apple in March purchased weather app Dark Sky, and at that time, Dark Sky's developers said that the app's Android version would be discontinued on July 1, 2020. However, instead of shuttering the app on that date, the app's developers announced that the discontinuation would be delayed for another month. Now that it's August, Android users are no longer able to access the app, and...

Apple May Launch This Year's 'iPhone 12' Lineup in Two Stages, With 6.1-inch Models Debuting First

Monday August 3, 2020 3:14 am PDT by
Apple last week confirmed that its "‌iPhone‌ 12" launch will be delayed this year due to the ongoing global health crisis and restrictions on travel. Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later," suggesting a release sometime in October. We're expecting a total of four OLED iPhones in 5.4, 6.1, and...

Top Stories: Try the 5.4-Inch iPhone 12 Display Size, Blockbuster Earnings, Tim Cook at Antitrust Hearing

Saturday August 1, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Another busy week of Apple news and rumors has wrapped up, with a lot of focus on Tim Cook's appearance at a Congressional antitrust hearing and a blockbuster earnings report. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We continued to hear rumors about the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup, including a rare admission from Apple that the lineup will launch "a few weeks later" than...

Just How Small Will the 5.4-Inch iPhone 12 Screen Be? Try It Out for Yourself

Tuesday July 28, 2020 12:57 pm PDT by
As rumors of the iPhone 12 have continued to build over the past few months, the one model that has the most excitement around it is the smallest 5.4" model. The iPhone 12 is believed to be coming in 5.4", 6.7", and 6.1" sizes. Dummy models have shown how much smaller the 5.4" is compared to the rest of the iPhone lineup. The upcoming 5.4" iPhone falls in-between the size of the original...

Unreleased iPod Touch with Mac Pro Glossy Black Finish Shared Online

Sunday August 2, 2020 11:32 am PDT by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today posted images of what seems to be a first-generation iPod Touch prototype with a 2013 Mac Pro-style glossy black finish. The Twitter user claims that the iPod Touch prototype pictured has "the same coating as the 2013 Mac Pro." Had the finish been selected for the final product, it also would have been similar to the metallic glossy black finish that...

Apple Confirms This Year's iPhone 12 Models Will Be a Little Bit Late

Thursday July 30, 2020 2:34 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call covering the third fiscal quarter of 2020 (second calendar quarter) Apple CFO Luca Maestri confirmed that Apple is expecting to release this year's iPhones later than usual. Maestri said that Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later." Multiple rumors have suggested that ...

Battery Likely for Upcoming Apple Watch Series 6 Filed in Certification Listings

Saturday August 1, 2020 5:46 am PDT by
A battery likely for the upcoming Apple Watch Series 6 has been filed at the Korea Testing and Research Institute and discovered by a Twitter user @yabhishekhd. Certification for a 1.17Wh battery with a capacity of 303.8mAh was issued on June 23 by the KTR, a Korean regulatory body that approves and tests new hardware ahead of public sale. The battery seems to be destined for a future...

Apple Watch Series 6 to Feature Blood Oxygen Monitoring Sensor

Friday July 31, 2020 1:56 am PDT by
The Apple Watch Series 6 will add blood oxygen monitoring to its features list when it's launched later this year, according to a new report from DigiTimes. Apple Watch 6 will feature biosensors that can monitor sleeping conditions, detect blood oxygen and measure pulse rates, heartbeats and atrial fibrillation, and will also incorporate MEMS-based accelerometer and gyroscope, all allowing the ...

Apple Marks Return of NHL With New 'Hockey Tape' Ad Shot on iPhone 11 Pro

Saturday August 1, 2020 2:33 am PDT by
Apple today marked the return of NHL hockey with a new "Shot on iPhone" ad on its YouTube channel in Canada. Titled "Hockey Tape," the 30-second video features Vegas Golden Knights players Marc-André Fleury and Mark Stone having some on-ice fun with the iPhone 11 Pro, which they attach to the boards, a hockey stick, and a skate with hockey tape. "See the game like never before with Ultra ...

Emails Reveal Why Steve Jobs and Phil Schiller Blocked In-App Purchase of Kindle Books

Friday July 31, 2020 6:25 am PDT by
Internal Apple emails, made public by the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust inquiry, have revealed information about why Apple blocked in-app purchases of Kindle books on iOS devices, reports The Verge. Two sets of emails between Steve Jobs, Phil Schiller, Eddy Cue, and various other senior Apple executives, disclose the exact thinking behind how Apple approached Kindle on iOS. The...