Apple hires a former Google artificial intelligence scientist who left after his colleagues were fired

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Apple said Monday that it has hired former Google scientist Sami Benjo, who left the search giant amid the turmoil in its artificial intelligence department.

Benjo is expected to lead a new artificial intelligence research unit at Apple under the leadership of John Janandrea, senior vice president of machine learning and AI strategy, two acquaintances said. Giannandrea joined Apple in 2018 after spending about eight years at Google.

Apple declined to comment on Benjo’s role. Benjo did not respond to a request for comment.

Benjo who left Google last week after about 14 years said last month he was pursuing “other exciting opportunities”.

His decision followed the dismissal of Google in recent months by fellow scientists Margaret Mitchell, after claiming that she had transferred electronic files from the company and Timnit Gebru after she threatened to leave instead of withdrawing the paper.

Mitchell and Gebru led an ethics ethics team at AI and expressed concern about the diversity of the workplace and Google’s approach to reviewing research. Benjo had expressed support for the couple.

As one of the early leaders of the Google Brain research team, Benjo perfected the “deep learning” algorithms that underlie today’s artificial intelligence systems for analyzing images, speech, and other data.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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