Way back in October of 2015, we reported on Apple’s $100 million acquisition of the artificial intelligence (AI) startup, VocalIQ — a firm that had been working to develop what the Cupertino-company lauded as one of the most intelligent, consistently accurate, and naturally responsive AI-based voice command and dictation platforms it had ever seen.
As a matter of fact, VocalIQ’s proprietary AI engine is so smart, as we noted in our earlier report, that sources who’ve seen the platform in action have deemed it more consistently accurate and responsive than either Apple’s Siri, Google Now, or Microsoft’s Cortana — which have all typically garnered about a 20-30% accuracy rating, according to TrustedReviews.
As you might imagine, Apple had acquired VocalIQ in an attempt to hone in on making its Siri platform more accurate and responsive to natural commands. And now, according to a new report published this morning in BusinessInsider, it appears that the fruits of Apple’s labor and initial investment are finally starting to ripen on the vine.
According to the BusinessInsider report, Apple currently has at least 30 research and development team members — many of whom are former VocalIQ employees — working out of the Silicon Valley tech-giant’s “top-secret” Cambridge, England-based offices, which are often referred to internally as Apple’s ‘Siri Lab’, according to Mashable.
Apple has yet to merge VocalIQ’s technology with its existing Siri platform, however, VocalIQ’s AI-based platform is intended to make communication between you and your computer, or smartphone, a more natural, altruistic experience — as opposed to making it seem like you’re just talking to a robot, even though you actually are.
There’s currently no word from Apple on an expected completion or release timeline of a VocalIQ-enhanced Siri update, however the fact of that matter is that AI, as a concept, will soon begin playing a more significant role in attracting customers to a particular mobile ecosystem. Both Google, Microsoft, and Apple all have their own voice command/dictation platform — and while they all work somewhat differently, they all have one thing in common — they could be a lot better at what they do.
And thus, the race to a truly full-fledged natural voice command and dictation platform continues, as both Apple, Google, and even Microsoft refine and sharpen their respective software — with Apple guiding the way as usual.
If you’d like to learn some of the cool new tricks and commands Siri has up her sleeve, check out our list: Top 25 New and Unique Siri Commands in iOS 10, and stay tuned for future developments as they pertain to Apple and the future of Siri.