Google hires former star Apple engineer for its AI team

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(Bloomberg) -- Chris Lattner, a legend in the world of Apple software, has joined another rival of the iPhone maker: Alphabet Inc.’s Google, where he will work on artificial intelligence.

Lattner announced the news on Twitter on Monday, saying he will start next week. His arrival at Mountain View, California-based Google comes after a brief stint as head of the automated driving program at Tesla Inc., which he left in June. Lattner made a name for himself during a decade-plus career at Apple Inc., where he created the popular programming language Swift.

Lattner said he is joining Google Brain, the search giant’s research unit. There he will work on a different software language: TensorFlow, Google’s system designed to simplify the programming steps for AI, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. Since Google released the software for free last year, it has become a key part of its strategy to spread and make money from AI. Last May, Google introduced a specialized chip set catered for the software, called a TPU, that rents through its cloud-computing service.

A Google spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

After leaving Apple in January, Lattner went to Tesla, a recruiting coup for Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk. Lattner left after six months. “In the end, Elon and I agreed that he and I did not work well together and that I should leave, so I did,” he wrote in an update to his resume.

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