Apple promotes AI chief to exec team: 4 things to know

Apple added its newly appointed artificial intelligence lead to its executive team, the Cupertino, Calif.-based iPhone maker confirmed Dec. 20.

Here are four things to know about the new executive team member, John Giannandrea:

1. Apple brought Mr. Giannandrea on board as senior vice president of machine learning and artificial intelligence strategy in April. He had most recently served as Google's chief of search and AI.

"John hit the ground running at Apple, and we are thrilled to have him as part of our executive team," said Apple CEO Tim Cook. "Machine learning and AI are important to Apple's future as they are fundamentally changing the way people interact with technology, and already helping our customers live better lives. We're fortunate to have John, a leader in the AI industry, driving our efforts in this critical area."

2. In his SVP role, Mr. Giannandrea oversees AI and machine learning strategy across all Apple products, with a focus on making it easier to integrate AI into the company's services. For example, he manages the development of Apple's voice assistant, Siri.

3. When Apple announced Mr. Giannandrea would join the company in April, The New York Times reported the hire as a win for the company. Silicon Valley executives and analysts have traditionally viewed Apple as falling behind its peers in AI development, according to the publication.

4. Bringing Mr. Giannandrea onto the executive team will help the company as it seeks to raise its AI profile alongside companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft, according to CNBC.

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