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Apple hires ex-Google scientist Samy Bengio to lead AI research unit

Apple has hired former Google scientist Samy Bengio to lead its artificial intelligence unit. Bengio will lead the new AI research unit at Apple under John Giannandrea, senior vice president of machine learning and AI strategy.

Prior to his new Apple appointment, Bengio has been an AI scientist and Google for the last 14 years until last month when he left in pursuit of other exciting opportunities amid turmoil in Google’s artificial intelligence research department. He was among the first employees closely involved in the decade-old Google Brain project that has advanced algorithms crucial to the functioning of various modern AI systems which Bengio has been instrumental in moving forward AL technology and ethics.

His decision followed the recent Google firings of fellow scientists Margaret Mitchell after alleging she transferred electronic files out of the company and Timnit Gebru for threatening to quit rather than retract a paper.

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Mitchell and Gebru had co-led a team researching ethics issues in AI and had voiced concern about Google’s workplace diversity and approach to reviewing research which Bengio had expressed full support on.

Though he did not comment on the firing in his farewell email, the duo’s firings hugely influenced his decision to leave the company.

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At Apple, Samy Bengio brings on board 14 years of hands-on experience in artificial intelligence and machine learning and managing hundreds of researchers in the Google Brain team.

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Val Lukhanyu
Val Lukhanyu
I cover technology news, startups, business and gadget reviews

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