Bill Stasior, the former head of Apple’s Siri division, is departing the company he joined in 2012, and joining rival Microsoft’s artificial intelligence division.
Stasior actually left tech giant Apple back in May, and will be joining Microsoft as a corporate vice president later this month, reports The Information. Back in 2018, Apple poached John Giannandrea from Google, where he worked as the company’s head of search and AI. The thinking is that this caused a paradigm shift in the way that Apple works on AI.
Stasior’s departure seems less an indictment of the current state of Siri and more a reflection of the reality of AI at Apple. Last year, the iPhone maker poached John Giannandrea from Google, where he was a former head of search and AI. That’s reshaped the way Apple works on AI, as they try to close the lead that Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa has in terms of complexity.
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Giannandrea made a mark after joining the company, and was promoted to senior vice president at Apple in December, a role which sees him reporting directly to CEO Tim Cook, moving into a role where he was in charge of just about everything to do with machine learning and AI at the company. The Information reports that this led to Stasior less and less involved with the day to day on the Siri team, whereas previously he was responsible for running Siri.
However, Stasior won’t be working on Cortana. Microsoft has started to wind down their support for their own AI assistant. However he will still be leading up an AI group at Microsoft, although it’s not yet clear what he’ll be working on. Of course, Microsoft is a pretty huge tech company, so there’s likely to be many different metaphorical pies for Stasior to put metaphorical fingers into, and it’ll be interesting to see what he gets up to.