New Delhi: The competition in the artificial intelligence (AI) race is intensifying, and even Apple, the world’s largest company, cannot afford to ignore it. The company’s AI chief, John Giannandrea, is facing a tough challenge as his team struggles to keep pace with rival firms like OpenAI, Microsoft, and Google. The team responsible for developing Siri and machine learning, and other AI projects is reportedly facing internal conflicts that are hindering their progress. The primary issue at hand seems to be the race to hire the right talent, which is at the center of the AI battle.
According to a report by The Information, three key engineers – Steven Baker, Srinivasan Venkatachary and Anand Shukla – are highly coveted by both Google and Apple. These engineers played a significant role in modernizing Apple’s search technology but left the company to work on large-language models (LLMs) at Google. Two of the three engineers were pass-outs of IIT.
Venkatachary, who is currently the VP of Engineering for AI product expansion at Google, completed his B. Tech in Computer Science from IIT Madras. Anand Shukla, a Distinguished Engineer at Google, completed his B. Tech in Computer Science from IIT Kanpur. According to their LinkedIn pages, Venkatachary left Apple in October 2022, and Shukla left in November 2022. The report by The Information suggests that the engineers believed Google was a better place to work on LLMs, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai personally wooed the group. Apple CEO Tim Cook, on the other hand, tried to persuade the engineers to stay.
All three engineers are now working on Google’s efforts to reduce the cost of training and improve the accuracy of LLMs and the products based on these models. While Apple has been relying on its products and services for revenue, it is yet to announce its first LLM-based tech. In contrast, Google has already introduced Bard AI for search in select geographies, and Microsoft has integrated AI and LLMs in mainstream products like Bing search and Microsoft Office. It remains to be seen how Apple can catch up with its rivals in this regard.
In conclusion, the race to hire the right talent for AI and LLM development has become a crucial factor in the competition between tech giants. With Apple facing internal conflicts and losing key engineers to rivals like Google, it remains to be seen how the company will keep pace with its competitors. While Apple has yet to announce its first LLM-based tech, it will need to do so soon to remain relevant in the rapidly evolving AI landscape.