John Giannandrea speaks during the TechCrunch Disrupt 2017 in San Francisco. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Apple has hired top Google executive John Giannandrea as it looks to boost its work in artificial intelligence, according to the New York Times. Google confirmed on Monday that Giannandrea was stepping down but did not say where he was headed.

Why it matters: AI is a key strategic area with Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and others all looking to outflank their rivals.

The details: Giannandrea will run Apple’s “machine learning and A.I. strategy,” and report to CEO Tim Cook, the Times report said.

An Apple representative was not immediately available for comment.

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