Apple’s culture of secrecy is hurting its efforts to hire artificial intelligence experts, according to a report by Bloomberg. While other companies, such as Google, Microsoft, and IBM, allow researchers to publish research papers, Apple requires that its employees do not.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is arguably the next frontier of computing and losing out on key talent could hurt Apple’s chances of success. “Apple is off the scale in terms of secrecy,” Richard Zemel, a computer science professor at the University of Toronto told Bloomberg. “They’re completely out of the loop.”
All of the big technology companies, from Google to IBM, are working on AI software. For example, Facebook can tell blind users who is in certain photos, Google can create GIFs and collages out of photos, and Microsoft is working to bolster Cortana, its virtual assistant.
By preventing its researchers from publicly talking about their work, Apple is potentially damaging its chances of competing. According to Bloomberg, new hires are prevented from even announcing the job on LinkedIn or Twitter. “The really strong people don’t want to go into a closed environment where it’s all secret,” Yoshua Bengio, a professor of computer science at the University of Montreal, told Bloomberg.
Apple recently acquired two AI startups, Perceptio and VocalIQ, to help its efforts. The company also hired away influential researchers from Microsoft and is advertising hundreds of AI-related jobs, focusing on all aspects of the company, from Siri to machine learning.