Apple Snaps Up AI Startup to Smarten Siri

Ruben Fields
April 6, 2020

"We buy small technology companies from time to time".

Apple has purchased artificial intelligence startup Voysis with the aim of improving Siri, reports Bloomberg.

Dublin, Ireland-based Voysis focused on improving digital assistants inside online shopping apps, so the software could respond more accurately to voice commands from users.

Apple could use the acquired know-how improve Siri's understanding of natural language or to offer the Voysis platform to thousands of developers that already integrate with the Apple digital assistant.

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"Combined with your data, our platform understands what your customers say", another archived page from the site says. It will help Siri understand the natural language better than it did before.

Although the startup's website has been deactivated since the acquisition, it once said that it helps produce search results based on phrases like "I need a new LED TV, my budget is $1,000". Incorporating the Voysis technology, Apple could turn the Siri experience into an easier one. It helps to interpret the request by users in a better way.

This is the second surprise acquisition Apple has made public this week, following the announcement that it purchased the popular weather forecast app Dark Sky. "We believe Voysis is the complete voice AI platform that will play a key role in bringing about this change". Voysis co-founder Peter Cahill said they are going to shrink its system to the point where the software uses as little as 25 megabytes of memory. Among them is Apple's Siri, which was first released in late 2011. Apple could fold that into Siri to make it easier to ask contextual follow-up questions for more hard queries (anything beyond weather forecasts). More so, when Apple rolled out the iOS 13.

E-commerce companies used Voysis' technology to offer enhanced product search results through their apps.

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