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.

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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.

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Top Rated Comments

AngerDanger Avatar
68 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)
sidewinder3000 Avatar
68 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)
realtuner Avatar
68 months ago
So, is Google doomed now that two people in their AI division have jumped ship?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PickUrPoison Avatar
68 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)
jeremiah256 Avatar
68 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)
cmaier Avatar
68 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)