Google Taps AI Chief To Head Up Search - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Software

Google Taps AI Chief To Head Up Search

With its longtime search executive Amit Singhal retiring, Google has named AI chief John Giannandrea to head its search business -- yet another sign of Google's focus on artificial intelligence.

10 Google Milestones: From Stanford Dorm To Alphabet
10 Google Milestones: From Stanford Dorm To Alphabet
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Google has tapped its artificial intelligence chief John Giannandrea to lead its search business, a further sign of the importance that the Internet giant has placed on AI.

Giannandrea will be assuming the duties of longtime Google search executive Amit Singhal, who said he is retiring on Feb. 26 to become involved in philanthropy, and to spend more time with his family. In a post on Google+, Singhal, who has overseen the technical development of search since 2000, stated:

It fills me with pride to see what we have built in the last fifteen years. Search has transformed people's lives; over a billion people rely on us. Our mission of empowering people with information and the impact it has had on this world cannot be overstated. When I started, who would have imagined that in a short period of fifteen years, we would tap a button, ask Google anything and get the answer. Today, it has become second nature to us. My dream Star Trek computer is becoming a reality, and it is far better than what I ever imagined.

In naming Giannandrea as search chief, it appears Alphabet's Google is aiming to infuse more AI capabilities into its search feature, especially on mobile devices, and into its personal assistant technologies, according to a Bloomberg report that cited comments by Google CEO Sundar Pichai during Alphabet's recent earnings call. In that call, according to Bloomberg, Pichai stated, "The next wave will be powered by big advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence, an area where we believe we lead the industry."

(Image: Kurt Drubbel/iStockphoto)

(Image: Kurt Drubbel/iStockphoto)

Giannandrea joined Google in 2010, following the acquisition of a company he cofounded called Metaweb Technologies, which developed a semantic database that Google incorporated into its search in order to improve results.

In 2013, Giannandrea was tasked with leading Google's AI efforts as the Internet giant sought to infuse artificial intelligence into many of its products and services -- ranging from its email app Smart Reply to its Photos storage service -- The Wall Street Journal reported.

[Read Google Parent Alphabet Dethrones Apple as Most Valuable Company.]

Giannandrea also oversaw RankBrain, which it introduced last year to increase the accuracy of search results. According to the Journal, RankBrain handles rare or complex search queries, and is among the top three tools Google uses when ranking search results.

In selecting Giannandrea to lead search, Google is not only getting someone who has the AI experience, but also someone with an extensively familiarity with its search.

What have you done to advance the cause of Women in IT? Submit your entry now for InformationWeek's Women in IT Award. Full details and a submission form can be found here.

Dawn Kawamoto is an Associate Editor for Dark Reading, where she covers cybersecurity news and trends. She is an award-winning journalist who has written and edited technology, management, leadership, career, finance, and innovation stories for such publications as CNET's ... View Full Bio

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
soozyg
50%
50%
soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
2/6/2016 | 4:15:57 PM
voice commands
I admit I still need help with voice commands. Either I don't use the apps correctly or I'm using the wrong apps, but I can never seem to get voice command on my phone to do what I actually need it to do.
soozyg
50%
50%
soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
2/6/2016 | 4:09:53 PM
awesome search
we would tap a button, ask Google anything and get the answer. 

I'm going to state the obvious and say yes, Google search is one of the most revolutionary aspects of Google. We tend to take technology for granted. I have an Android G4 with Google search right on the homepage so I ask it anything. It has saved me so many times.
Commentary
Gartner Forecast Sees 7.3% Shrinkage in IT Spending for 2020
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  7/15/2020
Slideshows
10 Ways AI Is Transforming Enterprise Software
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  7/13/2020
Commentary
IT Career Paths You May Not Have Considered
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  6/30/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
The State of IT & Cybersecurity Operations 2020
The State of IT & Cybersecurity Operations 2020
Download this report from InformationWeek, in partnership with Dark Reading, to learn more about how today's IT operations teams work with cybersecurity operations, what technologies they are using, and how they communicate and share responsibility--or create risk by failing to do so. Get it now!
Video
Current Issue
Key to Cloud Success: The Right Management
This IT Trend highlights some of the steps IT teams can take to keep their cloud environments running in a safe, efficient manner.
Slideshows
Flash Poll