Besides Siri and iOS, Apple is also hiring machine learning experts for its product marketing and retail divisions. According to one former Apple employee, the number of machine learning experts in the company has tripled or quadrupled in the last few years.
The existing AI experts inside the company are currently focused on improving Siri and other search related features of iOS.
Apple was the first company to release a personal digital assistant, Siri, in 2011. At that time, Siri felt light years ahead of what was available in the market, and truly managed to capture everyone’s attention. However, since then, the company has lost ground to Google’s own personal assistant, Now, and Microsoft’s Cortana. Google Now is, without a doubt, the best personal assistant of all three, though since it requires access to a plethora of personal information to achieve its smartness, it has led to many privacy concerns.
In iOS 9, Apple has managed to make Siri smarter by adding contextual reminders, automatic app recommendations, and more, without invading privacy of its users.
Many experts feel that this is also a key reason why Apple’s personal assistant is behind that of Google and Microsoft in smartness. Without analysing a vast amount of data of its user and access to them, it is simply not possible for a personal assistant to truly become ‘personal’.
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