iOS 10 Siri waveform image 001

About a year ago, a certain California firm quietly snapped up VocalIQ, a UK-based startup that used machine learning to build conversational virtual assistants. Subsequent reports noted that Apple kept most of the startup’s employees to work out of their unmarked Cambridge, UK office on integrating VocalIQ technology into Siri.

Citing sources with knowledge of the matter, Business Insider reports that Apple is now looking to increase the size of the Siri team in Cambridge.

“In a bid to make Siri that bit more useful to iPhone, iPad and Mac owners, Apple intends to hire at least half a dozen software engineers in Cambridge in the coming months,” reads the post.

Apple is looking to fill the following positions, as per job ads on LinkedIn:

Apple’s Cambridge office is currently home to a team of roughly 30 people working on voice recognition technology that would let Siri and users speak to each other in a more natural dialogue.

VocalIQ’s software, however, hasn’t found its way into Siri yet.

Some of the job ads seek experts in machine learning and big data, hinting at the company’s recently explained plans to add more smarts to its personal digital assistant.

“You will be joining a highly talented team of software engineers and machine learning scientists to develop the next generation of Siri,” reads one of the ads.

“We use world class tools and software engineering practices, and push the boundaries of artificial intelligence with a single aim: make a real difference to the lives of the hundreds of millions of Siri users.”

On a related note, Apple earlier this year also bought Turi, another machine learning and artificial intelligence startup, and spun the startup into its new machine learning unit in Seattle, where Turi was originally based.

Source: Business Insider