Apple poached three dozen Google experts to open a secret AI lab in Zurich

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Rumor mill: Apple has allegedly employed quite a few AI consultants from Google’s human sources roster and opened a secret synthetic intelligence lab in Europe. The analysis and improvement facility goals to provide new AI-powered merchandise and machine-learning fashions.

The Monetary Instances analyzed a whole bunch of job listings, LinkedIn profiles, and plenty of research during the last a number of years and located that Apple has recruited not less than 36 AI consultants from Google, beginning with John Giannandrea in 2018, who now heads up Apple’s AI division as senior vice chairman of Machine Studying and AI Technique.

In line with ETH Zurich professor Luc Van Gool, Apple opened a brand new R&D lab in Zurich referred to as “Imaginative and prescient Lab.” The power employs consultants from two native acquisitions – FaceShift and Fashwell. Apple picked up motion-capture firm FaceShift in 2015 and bought Fashwell in 2019. Fashwell focuses on AI-powered visible search.

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The groups at Imaginative and prescient Lab have already produced many analysis papers involving generative AI, closely specializing in fashions that use textual content and imagery enter to provide correct outcomes to queries. For instance, a person may ask, “The place can I however this jacket?” and add or level the digicam on the garment, and the mannequin will listing a number of shops that carry the product.

Apple has been so quiet about its ongoing AI analysis that many assume it is arriving late to the sport, as huge gamers like Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and others have already rushed out AI-driven merchandise. In actuality, the corporate has labored secretly on bleeding-edge AI tech for a number of years, and its hiring on this discipline has been extremely hush-hush.

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Apple has two recruitment places of work in Zurich. The Monetary Instances notes that one of many places is so below the radar that surrounding companies have been fully unaware it was an Apple workplace. When FT contacted Cupertino for official affirmation of the bottom of operations, the corporate declined to remark.

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Apple has all the time been tight-lipped relating to upcoming merchandise – AI is not any completely different. Nevertheless, current leaks and rumors level to the Cupertino powerhouse being on the verge of unveiling aggressive “GenAI” merchandise.

In January, hiring data and on-the-record analysis indicated that Apple may launch not less than one AI mannequin in 2024 that can use the M3’s and A17 Professional’s NPUs (neural processing items) to deal with AI queries on-device as an alternative of within the cloud. The next month, Tim Cook dinner confirmed the corporate will launch one thing GenAI-related in 2024 that might “break new floor,” however was obscure on what it was. Then, in March, Mark Gurman found that Apple was in talks with Google to launch its Gemini AI on iPhones. It is unlikely that that is the “new floor” that Cook dinner was talking of, nevertheless it exhibits that Apple is making ready to announce one thing huge in AI this 12 months.

Picture credit score: Hadrian, DedMityay

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