Not wanting to go back to the office, the Apple director of the “father of GAN” resigned

There are many reasons why people want to leave at work, it may be because of the content of the job, it may be because of relationships, and it may be because of working hours and patterns. For example, Ian Goodfellow, the machine learning director of Apple's special projects group, chose to leave because he was dissatisfied with Apple's office resumption plan.

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Compared with the identity of Apple director and former Google research scientist, Ian Goodfellow's resume has a more dazzling achievement – developed the GAN (Generative Adversarial Network) that is popular in the field of machine learning. This generative model has a generative network and a discriminant network, and the two neural networks learn by playing against each other.

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Since the birth of the GAN model, the AI ​​field has more room to play. With the help of this generation model, black and white photos can be colored, new images and videos can be synthesized, and pictures can be repaired. The face-changing special effects such as "transfiguration comics" that were popular on Douyin earlier are also realized by GAN. .

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In recent years, the ravages of the new crown epidemic have made many companies choose to let their employees work from home remotely, including Apple and Google. But in early 2022, large technology companies such as Apple and Google have announced that they will gradually return their employees to the office for offline work.

However, it is not always restored to the previous mode, and Apple chose to adopt a "hybrid work mode". This "mixed work mode" is to combine telecommuting and back-office work, and implement the plan of 3 antennas + 2 antennas in stages.

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Apple asked employees to return to the office starting April 11, initially requiring at least one day a week in the office. Increased in-office hours to two days a week starting May 4. Beginning May 23, employees will be required to work in the office three days a week.

In an email to employees from Ian Goodfellow, which was leaked on Twitter, he mentioned: "I firmly believe that more flexibility would be the best policy for my team." Perhaps it is the growing Offline office hours made him choose to leave.

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While Apple has plans to resume offline work, it also provides some flexibility for individual teams, allowing managers to adjust as they see fit. Perhaps, Goodfellow's team can't adjust as expected.

The most fundamental reason why he chose to leave Apple may not be as it appears on the surface, and we have no way of knowing, but one thing is clear to everyone – employees who have adapted to remote work do not want to go back to the office.

In fact, before Ian Goodfellow chose to leave, an employee had already written a letter to CEO Cook expressing dissatisfaction with Apple's plan to resume offline work.

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It's not just Apple, it's actually a problem for many companies, especially tech companies like Apple and Google that rely on the Internet and portable laptops to get a lot of work done: there's really a need for employees to Is it necessary to go back to the office for work?

Judging from the current situation, most companies believe that this is necessary, but there is also a "special case" – Airbnb. In a recent interview, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky argued that the office is a bit of an outdated form, a product of the pre-digital age.

▲ Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, picture from: Getty Images

Therefore, Airbnb also announced that the company's employees can choose to permanently work remotely, and the salary will not be reduced. However, he doesn't think that there is no need to have a company because people don't want to work from home, they need a space, and the company will have a space available. In short, he wanted more flexibility.

After being "forced" to work remotely for a long time, many employees found that their work efficiency did not decrease, and some even improved. At the same time, you can spend more time with your family, and the trouble of commuting and the resulting increase in living costs are also alleviated to a certain extent. But for the company, employees can have a better collaborative atmosphere when working in the office, which is also helpful for the development and popularization of corporate culture.

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To some extent, what employees want is in conflict with what the company wants. Faced with this contradiction, the plan adopted by Apple and Airbnb is actually to achieve a balance between the two, but how can we achieve the optimal balance? Also really a problem.

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