Google's longtime AI boss is now in charge of Apple Siri

Meet John Giannandrea, Apple's new chief of machine learning and AI strategy.

Sean Hollister Senior Editor / Reviews
When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
Sean Hollister
Screenshot by Sean Hollister/CNET

We don't typically cover executive moves at CNET, but this one might pique your curiosity: Apple has poached Google's former head of AI and search to help fix Apple's Siri voice assistant.

Technically, the poaching part happened three months ago, but on Tuesday the other shoe has dropped: As spotted by Bloomberg's Mark GurmanApple's Leadership page now lists Giannandrea as "Apple's chief of machine learning and AI strategy." The page specifically says he's responsible for Siri, as well as Apple's Core ML machine-learning tech teams. 

Notably, Giannandrea reports directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Watch this: We ask Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant the same three questions

If you ask CNET's reviewers -- or honestly, many other reviewers across the industry -- Siri could kinda use some work. "Siri has a lot of maturing to do before it can compete with Alexa or Google Assistant," Megan Wollerton wrote in her review of the Apple HomePod

"The underlying [Google Assistant] platform is so much more expansive, accurate and knowledgeable than Siri," Jessica Dolcourt said in our Android Oreo vs. iOS 11 shootout last August.

According to Strategy Analytics, Apple's HomePod did manage to obtain 6 percent of global marketshare for smart speakers in the first quarter of 2018, however.

Apple declined to comment.

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