Apple is increasing the size of its Siri team in Cambridge, job ads reveal

By , Nov 10, 2016

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

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  • edwilk55

    Finally taking the fact that she kind of sucks seriously? 🙂

  • Bacillus

    Apple is the #1 inadequate company to develop the Siri sequel. Its developers tried multiple times, got frustrated, and went to Samsung.
    Since then, Apple is in struggle with its architecture and its improvement has been only incremental and fragmentary. They can’t scale over multiple architectures, applications and languages. VocalIQ buy-out is just window dressing
    Case lost.

  • Jayy

    They are probably doing that because Samsung bought Viv and are implementing a stock voice assistant with the S8 (p.s. Anyone else getting these web errors on iDB?) https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2ff0baa6c9f81e3174d262f22fd160e5d80edee77cfb5682cc9a95cf0e82375f.png

    • Can you please send me the link that returns this error?

      • Jayy

        Well it happens randomly on any article clicked, but next time it happens I’ll copy the URL.

      • Very strange. You should try clearing your Safari cache and website data in Settings. Might help.

      • Jayy

        I actually just did that no less than 2-3 weeks ago, and I was getting that error even before then. It could be because I’m Jailbroken on 9.0.2, but this is the only site that happens on. It’s not a big issue though, it just takes a sec longer to get to the article that’s all.

      • The fact that you are jailbroken could be part of the problem, especially since no one else is reporting this issue. I can’t replicate it myself. I will however keep an eye on it.

        In the meanwhile, I do suggest clearing cache/website data in Safari Settings. This will probably help.

      • Jayy

        Will do! And to give you an idea of how it happens, when I click on an article the page loads up then before I can scroll down that screen in the image I posted displays itself.

    • edwilk55

      Yeah…I was really hoping there would be some Viv inclusion if the real deal is 1/2 as good as the demo was. But too late now. 🙁

      • Jayy

        Same here, the Viv demo made me wish Apple bought it. But nope the S8 will have it 🙁