Chris Lattner, who created the Swift programming language and stayed at Apple for many years, has now announced that he's joining Google Brain, Alphabet's research unit for artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Lattner announced the move via Twitter Monday, Aug. 14, stating he will start next week. He will resign from his post as Tesla's head for the autopilot program. Lattner actually left in June, saying Tesla wasn't a good fit for him.
"I'm super excited to join Google Brain next week: AI can't democratize itself (yet?) so I'll help make it more accessible to everyone!" Lattner tweeted.
At Google Brain, Lattner will work on a software language called TensorFlow, a system Google designed to simplify the programming steps for AI, reports Bloomberg. Google released TensorFlow for free last year, making the software a way for the company to profit from AI. Also, last May, Google introduced a custom machine learning chip called TPU that's specifically for the software, and it says the chip is 30 times faster than traditional CPUs.
Chris Lattner's Contributions To Apple
Lattner, who studied computer science at the University of Portland, joined Apple in 2005 after co-authoring LLVM, a collection of modular and reusable compiler and toolchain technologies. His work was crucial in innovating Xcode, Apple's OpenGL implementation, and he led the rollout and development of Swift.
In 2016, Lattner was recognized by Wired as one of the "25 geniuses who are creating the future of business." That list included Stephenie Landry, VP of Amazon Prime Now; Randal Kirk, Intrexon CEO; Lisa Nishimura, Netflix's VP for original documentaries and comedy; and more.
Lattner left Apple in January and joined Tesla. He stayed for six months and left in June, as mentioned. He said he and Tesla CEO Elon Musk both agreed that they did not work well together, hence, his departure.
Google Brain focuses on practical application of AI and machine learning across Google's products and apps. According to its website, Members of Google Brain can set their own research agenda, "with the team as a whole maintaining a portfolio of projects across different time horizons and levels of risk."
Google adopts an open culture with regard to its research because it believes that doing so will lead to a healthy exchange of ideas. To that end, Google Brain says it presents its research regularly at top academic conferences and releases some of its tools as open source projects.