Apple might be trying to replace Siri’s Nuance-powered engine with a homemade one

Apple might be trying to replace Siri’s Nuance-powered engine with a homemade one
It seems that a number of ex-Nuance employees now work for Apple and are allegedly developing a neural network-powered Siri. Nuance, as you probably know, is the developer of the fundamental speech recognition technology for Apple's voice assistant, which debuted alongside the iPhone 4s. Over the past few years, Cupertino has not only hired a number of Nuance's former software engineers, but also several high-ranking executives - Nuance's the former VP of research, Larry Gillick, and its chief mobile technology architect, Gunnar Evermann. Alex Acero, who has probably worked on Microsoft's Cortana previously, is now also employed by Apple.


So, why does the Cupertino-based colossus hire these individuals in the first place? Well, Peter Lee, the head of Microsoft's research division, claims that Apple is currently trying hard to make its own, home-brewed speech recognition engine for Siri, which will be using a self-learning neural network, capable of pattern recognition and anticipating user queries. This would put Siri on par with Google, IBM, and Microsoft – Google Now already makes use of a similar deep-learning technology, whereas Microsoft is also working on such a neural network, which will reportedly bring a real-time translation feature to Skype later in 2014.


But is keeping up with the Joneses the real reason behind Siri's alleged change of heart? Although it seems like a logical evolutionary step, numerous reports claim that Samsung, one of Apple's arch-rivals, might be trying to acquire Nuance, which is not only providing the speech recognition engine for Siri, but for Samsung's S Voice as well. This said, it is highly-probable that Apple is already trying to break free from Nuance and develop an advanced speech recognition engine for Siri on its own.

As you probably know, iOS 8 will bring some really nice features to Siri this fall, such as always-listening (provided that you have already launched the assistant in the first place) and music-recognition capabilities, to name a few. iOS 8 couldn't arrive sooner.

source: AppleInsider, Wired via 9To5Mac

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15 Comments

1. TeeHee12

Posts: 15; Member since: May 04, 2014

well well well. we all know how great homemade software from apple is. Apple Maps= biggest failure of any map program

2. iLegend

Posts: 41; Member since: Jun 05, 2013

haters gonna hate and remember only bad things to bash..!!

4. Iodine

Posts: 1480; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

Yes especially a failure for an android user as he couldn't even use them.

9. sgodsell

Posts: 7368; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Does this mean Samsung bought Nuance?

15. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

And they also slipped up on the hardware front recently, the antenna in the iPhone 4....aka Antenna Gate.... Thats the thing about a company like Apple....any strike out is going to be just as magnified as their hone runs. Comes with the territory. When you are put on a pedestal by users, writers...be prepared to deal with negativity too when you slip up. Also doesnt help that your company is seen as arrogant by some, maybe many.

7. iushnt

Posts: 3105; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

Why does Samsung need nuance?

8. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

To improve their S-Voice software?

10. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Is S Voice getting better? Disabled it for the past 6 month. Google Now does the task with minimal fuss. S voice keep asking for second confirmation.

11. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

I don't use it either, disabled it on my previous phone. And it was very bad, but that is why they need Nuance to improve on it.

12. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Apple didn't cover their bases an now scramble to make their own, which should have been the way to go in first place. Suits the tyrants to get carpet pulled out from under them, this will not go by without issues.

13. darkkjedii

Posts: 31049; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

They better, cuz Samsung might jack em.

16. amiaq

Posts: 509; Member since: Jun 30, 2012

Hey Apple, if Windows has Cortana, you guys can use drag queen, like "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert".

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