Apple buys artificial intelligence natural language start-up VocalIQ

“Apple has acquired a UK-based start-up whose artificial-intelligence software helps computers and people speak to each other in a more natural dialogue, according to people familiar with the deal,” Tim Bradshaw, Sally Davies and Murad Ahmed report for The Financial Times.

“VocalIQ uses machine learning to build virtual assistants that try to recreate the type of talking computers that appear in science-fiction films such as Samantha in Her or Jarvis in Iron Man,” Bradshaw, Davies and Ahmed report. “The deal marks Apple’s third acquisition of a UK company this year.”

“Its technology could help Apple to improve Siri, its virtual assistant, as well as further the iPhone maker’s automotive ambitions,” Bradshaw, Davies and Ahmed report. “In a blog earlier this year, VocalIQ described how a ‘conversational voice-dialog system’ in a car’s navigation system could prevent drivers from becoming distracted by looking at screens. Its ‘self-learning’ technology allows ‘real conversation between human and the internet of things,’ VocalIQ wrote. In another blog, VocalIQ said existing assistants have fallen ‘well short of consumer expectations,’ singling out Siri as a mere ‘toy.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Here’s to Siri – which is certainly not a “toy” – continuing to get better and better!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


  1. That is a good choice if Siri finally really improves.

    Imho Siri is not very in touch with me or my voice since iOS9…
    Disappointing because Siri and me had a lot of good teamwork once.

    I do not know what happened. Maybe Texas is to blame, maybe me, maybe the absence of Jon Stewart.
    Siri is sassy, Phil nailed it in September already, so.

    One day the sassy Siri will lock my car when I am drunk, call my doc when I had too much salt, it measures my morning urine.

    Dad, i just wanna be a tree.

    1. I doubt that. VocaliQ probably backed up that claim so Apple bought them.
      From their website:
      “Smartphone makers to consumers: “Lend Me Your Ears!”
      The fight for the visual user-experience (UX) is over. Apple won. The rest; Android, Windows Phone and various other Linux based platforms are at best, poor copies.

      Unless some new tectonic development in UX happens, the current position of market shares (and money shares) in smartphones is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.”
      Sounds like a good match.

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