Apple ML Exec Who Quit Over In-Person Work Policy Joins DeepMind

According to a Bloomberg report, former Apple executive, Ian Goodfellow, is joining Alphabet’s DeepMind. Goodfellow, who quit over Apple’s new in-person work policy, used to oversee machine learning. In 2013, he started at Google as a software engineering intern. He was a senior research scientist at Google Brain upon leaving in March of 2016. Following a year at Open AI, Goodfellow returned to Google for two years. Goodfellow is one of the foremost machine learning researchers, and this move is being seen as a win for Alphabet. He is known as the inventor of generative adversarial networks (GANs). GANs have several varied uses, including the production of photorealistic deep fakes. When it comes to AI and ML, hiring is extremely competitive. Goodfellow’s move may have been influenced by the fact that Alphabet is known to have relatively laxer in-person policies than Apple.

In March of 2019, Goodfellow was hired by Apple as director of machine learning in the Special Projects Group. Towards the start of this month, it was disclosed that he had left the Cupertino company over their new return to work policy. This policy by Apple requires employees to spend three days every week at the office. The new policy, however, has been delayed today.

According to reports, Apple had given a limited amount of flexibility to individual teams. This gave managers the discretion to managers to adapt policies as they see fit. However, according to sources, this was not the case for the team Goodfellow was working on. Goodfellow has now joined DeepMind, a part of Alphabet Inc. Although the hiring is not yet public, according to anonymous sources, he is joining on as an individual contributor.