“Though Apple is famously secretive about its internal operations – and did not provide comment for this article – it seems that the company previously licensed voice recognition technology from Nuance — perhaps the best known speech recognition vendor,” Robert McMillan reports for Wired. “But those in the tight-knit community of artificial intelligence researchers believe this is about to change. It’s clear, they say, that Apple has formed its own speech recognition team and that a neural-net-boosted Siri is on the way.”

“‘Apple is not hiring only in the managerial level, but hiring also people on the team-leading level and the researcher level,’ says Abdel-rahman Mohamed, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Toronto, who was courted by Apple. ‘They’re building a very strong team for speech recognition research,’” McMillan reports. “Ron Brachman, who oversees research at Yahoo and helped launch the project that originally gave rise to Siri, points out that Apple’s digital iPhone assistant depends on a lot more than just speech recognition. But Microsoft’s Peter Lee gives Apple six months to catch up to Microsoft and Google and start using neural nets, and he thinks this will significantly boost Siri’s talents. ‘All of the major players have switched over except for Apple Siri,’ he says. ‘I think it’s just a matter of time.’”

Read more in the full article here.