Microsoft poaches former Siri chief from Apple

Microsoft poaches former Siri chief from Apple
Bill Stasior, longtime head of Apple's Siri team, has left the company to join Microsoft's AI division. After nearly a decade at Apple, Stasior will step into the shoes of a corporate vice president at Microsoft later this month. At his new job, the former Siri chief will lead an artificial intelligence group, The Information reports.

Last year, Apple poached Google's former head of search and AI, John Giannandrea. The served as further indication of Apple's woes with Siri, which beat the competition to the AI assistant race, but was relegated to a firm third place behind Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

Stasior's reasons for leaving Apple aren't clear at this point, but Giannandrea's hiring is a likely guess. Since his hiring last summer, Giannandrea became very involved with the development of Siri and was eventually promoted to a senior vice president, reporting directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Although Stasior was in charge of Apple's Siri team since the assistant's initial launch, he won't be working on Cortana at Microsoft. The company behind Windows is lagging far behind the competition, as far as AI assistants are concerned, with Cortana being a distant fourth to Google's, Amazon's, and Apple's offerings. However, Stasior's talents apparently won't be used to better Cortana, but rather in Microsoft's broader AI efforts. The Information reports that people familiar with the matter have said that the former Siri chief will head a special AI group at Microsoft.

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1 Comment

1. sgodsell

Posts: 7599; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

If that guy was there from the beginning working on Siri, then I wouldn't trust him to work or support any AI voice assistant. Even though Siri is listed third overall, Siri is really far behind the others in so many ways. Even Microsoft has been working to decouple Cortana from their Windows OS. Even Alexa and Google Assistant and developers voice apps are not tied to any platform or OS. It's why you see inexpensive smart speakers for as low as $25. Apple's one and only smart speaker uses a version of iOS, and Apple's A8 SoC. Yet it's been out since February 2018, and iOS developers still to this day cannot make any standalone Siri voice apps for the HomePod. Even Cortana has support for Google Assistant, and Alexa, and can run on iOS and Android. Microsoft is even making their Cortana support Linux. Siri is stuck on not only Apple's platforms, developers Siri voice apps are also limited to iOS, and even then it depends on which iOS devices they are going to support. For Alexa, and Google Assistant they can make one voice app, and it will work on all platforms, and hardware like smartphones, tablets, smart speakers, smart displays, home appliances, cars, and more. Siri is really in last place.

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