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Gearing towards the “massive change” Apple poaches NVIDIA AI executive

Published: October 25, 2015 | Cupertino, CA

Amidst ever-perplexing rumours of Apple building its own “electric-car”, the consumer electronic giant has at least made clear about its intentions to foray into the automotive market. Last week, Apple has hired NVIDIA’s Jonathan Cohen, director of deep learning software for the company who has experience in autonomous vehicles.

Jonathan_Cohen_NVIDIA_Apple_Autonomous_carsDeep learning is an artificial intelligence branch that is regarded highly in tech companies, as it is able to teach computers on how to analyze process the contained patterns within large amounts of visual data. NVIDIA uses deep learning in its NVIDIA Drive PX platform, which is used to power self-driving cars.

If the LinkedIn profile of Mr. Cohen is anything to go by, it says “I build software” without officially listing any official job title at Apple. Apple currently uses deep learning for Siri and Apple Maps. It’s unknown what Cohen’s expertise could be applied to at Apple, but at this year’s CES Cohen was explaining how NVIDIA’s deep learning technology was being used in its self-driving car platform Drive PX.


A few days back, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the automotive industry is at the precipice of “massive change” — though he stopped short of saying whether the world’s most valuable company would play a role in that transformation.

Cook, who was interviewed onstage by WSJ executive editor, Gerard Baker, declined to respond to published reports that Apple is developing an electric car that might hit the road as soon as 2019. Cook said that, in the short term, Apple is working to bring the “iPhone experience” to the vehicle through CarPlay. Nevertheless, Apple has met with California DMV officials regarding self-driving car laws few backs back.

This is not the first time Apple poached an automotive/software expert from autonomous cars background. Earlier this year, Apple also hired CEO of Mercedes Benz R&D North America, Johan Jungwirth who is now Director of Mac Systems Engineering.

Source: WSJ, Mac Rumours



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