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Google Search King Amit Singhal exits, AI Exec John Giannandrea steps into his role

The era of Amit Singhal, the Senior Vice President of Google Search wing is coming to an end by the end of this month. His role will be taken up by John Giannandrea, the engineering Vice President, who is leading Google’s efforts in the field of artificial intelligence. With this, the search and artificial intelligence divisions within Google will also be merged to operate as a single entity.

Amit Singhal is an old time Googler and wields considerable clout within the company. Singhal is also credited to have endowed the company with the online search prowess that Google has come to be known for lately. In fact, the very term of Google itself has become synonymous with online search.

Singhal was also accredited the ‘Google Fellow’ in 2006 for his engineering efforts in improving the early search engine. Singhal also did pioneering work in fine tuning the search engine for mobile operations, something that led to a greater absorption of Google and its services among the mobile-toting crowd.

Meanwhile, John Giannandrea’s rise within the company is no less prolific and shows how much of a priority that the online search giant is keen to accord to artificial intelligence and machine learning. Giannandrea joined Google back in 2010 post the acquisition of his start-up Metaweb Technologies by Google.

The acquisition is also part of Google’s effort in the field of machine learning, something that has come to be known as ‘knowledge graph’. It is a concept that was added to the Google Search in 2012 and seeks to provide structured and detailed information in response to a user’s query. The aim is to provide all that is relevant to the user right away instead of a bunch of links. This way, users will have all that they are looking for thereby saving them from having to visit a plethora of sites to gather the information they need.

Among Google’s other notable efforts in the field of artificial intelligence include Google DeepMind that will be able to learn the nuances of various games and pose an effective challenge to humans in the process. Google Inbox is another smart application being developed that will be able to reply to e-mail on behalf of the user.

All of this shows how deep Google wants to imbibe artificial intelligence and machine learning concepts within its everyday working philosophies, and the efforts are already evident in its flagship search division.