Apple hires a Carnegie Mellon professor to improve its AI

Apple isn’t letting Samsung’s acquisition of Viv go unanswered. The Cupertino crew has hired Russ Salakhutdinov, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, as a director of artificial intelligence research. Interestingly, he isn’t giving up his school work — he may well be publishing research at the same time as he’s upgrading your iPhone or Mac. It’s not certain what he’ll be working on, although Recode observes that his recent studies have involved understanding the context behind questions. We’ve asked Apple if it can comment.

The hire could make a big difference for Siri, which has been criticized for evolving relatively little compared to services like Google Assistant. The AI helper may develop a better understanding of what you’re asking, and could be better at handling less-than-explicit or follow-up questions. However, Apple’s use of AI isn’t limited just to voice commands. Remember how iOS 10 uses machine learning for object and face recognition in its Photos app? You could see Salakhutdinov’s influence across many products, giving weight to Apple’s claims that it considers AI a key part of its future.

Carnegie Mellon might not be entirely happy. Uber spent a while poaching from the school’s robotics lab, and now the university has to worry about Apple luring top talent. While that may not be such a bad thing if it leads to more practical applications for AI, it may limit academic studies in the near future.

Source: Russ Salakhutdinov (Twitter)

Source: Engadget - Read the full article here

Author: Daily Tech Whip

This article is part of our 'News Tiles' service. The site is currently in Beta. When it is fully operational you will be able to search through and arrange the 'Tiles' to display a keyword, product or technology over your chosen time period. For example you would be able to display all of the leading tech articles on the new Kindle Fire, in one spot in real time. You will also have access to our own original reporting and analysis as well as a polished place to post your own thoughts & reviews here, amongst the Daily Tech Whip Community. Please let us know if you have any feedback via the contact form or via Twitter. Don't forget to come back next week and see our full site and claim your name and your own free tech blog.

Share This Post On