Former Google Executive Joins Apple as Head of New AI Research Unit

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Apple hires former Google executive, Samy Bengio. Image Source: Vytautas Kielaitis, Shutterstock.

Samy Bengio will lead Apple’s new AI research unit. He will report to John Giannandrea, the senior VP of machine learning and AI strategy, according to Reuters.

Bengio, who has been with Google for over 14 years, resigned from the tech giant last week after the company fired two of its top AI researchers, Timnit Gebru and Margaret Mitchell over claims of discrimination and racism that sparked industry wide outrage.

Gebru was fired by Google in December after she objected to her name being removed from a paper she was working on related to the dangers of large language models. Shortly after in February, Mitchell was removed from her position after she used an automated script to look through emails to find discimination evidence against Gebru.

The dismissal of these two researchers led to thousands of Google employees signing a petition that demanded an explanation and questioned the transparency of Google’s own ethics policies. Gebru also took to facebook to address his concern.

“Just wanted to say that I was stunned by what happened to Timnit Gebru, who was in my team until a few days ago,” Bengio wrote on Facebook. “I stand by you, Timnit.”

In his new role, Bengio will likely focus his knowledge on building Apple’s self driving car project.

His old colleagues have congratulated Bengio on his new position.

“I would definitely advertise for him if he’s hiring because he is a great researcher and leader who fights for open exploratory, bottoms up (rather than top down) based research wherever he is,” Gebru tweeted.


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