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Apple has poached Google’s AI chief John Giannandrea

Apple has poached Google’s artificial intelligence chief, in a major win for a firm considered to be lagging behind in the development of the technology.

The New York Times was first to report that John Giannandrea will lead Apple’s machine learning and AI strategy, as the iPhone maker attempts to catch up with its rivals.

Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote to employees about the news on Tuesday, saying that Giannandrea shares Apple’s “commitment to privacy and our thoughtful approach”.

While Apple leads the tech giants in terms of user privacy, it has fallen short of its rivals when it comes to developing AI-driven products.

Giannandrea has worked at Google since 2010, when the search giant acquired his then employer Metaweb – a startup building a “database of the world’s knowledge”.

During his seven year stint, Google has founded and expanded its AI division Google Brain and acquired the London-headquartered intelligence startup DeepMind.