Apple on neural networker hiring spree to help make Siri smarter
Apple, Google and Microsoft now all have their voice powered personal assistants but recently Apple’s Siri, a pioneer of this application on mobile has seemed to be getting a little lack lustre. Google Now and Microsoft Cortana have been stealing the limelight and probably rightly so as they have pushed the boundaries of what is possible for a computer PA over the last few months. Now it looks like Apple is gearing up to strike back.
Recently there’s been some talk about Nuance, the voice technology experts behind Siri, being bought out with corporations such as Samsung and Apple both said to be interested. Also Wired reveals that Apple has already started to poach staff from Nuance in order to beef up Siri’s capabilities. Also it has poached one of Microsoft’s top speech researchers of 20 years service.
Apparently Siri isn’t as smart as Google Now or Cortana because it isn’t currently using neural network algorithms like these competitors. Microsoft’s Peter Lee suggests that Apple will update Siri to neural network operations and increase her talents within the next six months. He told Wired “All of the major players have switched over except for Apple Siri, I think it’s just a matter of time.”
With iOS 8 expected to debut in autumn and an iWatch also expected to be revealed at that time – perhaps a new smarter Siri will debut as a major feature upgrade. After all, a large part of interacting simply with many smartwatches is via voice – due to the touch-screen display size limitation. This is another thing for Apple iDevice fans to look forward to and will make them feel at the forefront again, rather than being left behind.