Published: Mon, April 08, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Apple's 'Special Project' gets ex-Google AI expert

Apple's 'Special Project' gets ex-Google AI expert

Goodfellow has left behind a job as a senior research scientist at Google.

Ian Goodfellow (34) is undoubtedly one of the most prominent AI experts out there. Goodfellow, meanwhile, is known for his AI work related to what are called Generative Adversarial Networks, or GANs for short.

Mr. Goodfellow updated his LinkedIn profile April 4 to state he is now serving as a director of machine learning within Apple's special project group.

AI researcher Ian Goodfellow has left Google to take up a director post at Apple, CNBC reports.

While artificial intelligence remains a key to the future, its development is still in the early stage and yet to convincingly move into the mainstream.

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Experts moving around tech companies isn't uncommon and Apple has seen its share of employees leave the company.

Apple also poached Google's chief of search and artificial intelligence past year. The company is also working to develop autonomous systems for vehicles, a project that certainly requires top AI engineers.

None of this necessarily suggests that Apple has a particular interest in generating fake portraits or landscapes, but it shows that Goodfellow's work has been influential and shaped the entire field of AI.

GANs are two-part networks, formed of both a generator and a discriminator. The discriminator would send the generator back to try again if it's able to tell the difference between the new output and the trained dataset. GANs have become notorious in recent years, because they can be used to generate convincing fake images of real-world objects, and are integral to a lot of "deepfake" software. The company simply recognizes Goodfellow's contribution to AI development and what he could offer in its AI programs.

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