Apple hires a big brain in AI to smarten up Siri

“Apple has hired a Carnegie Mellon University professor to head up a team working on artificial intelligence as tech giants increasingly place big bets on machine learning as a key part of their future,” Ina Fried reports for Recode.

“Russ Salakhutdinov said he is looking to hire more research scientists in the field to work on his team at Apple,” Fried reports. “He will continue his work at Carnegie Mellon in addition to his new role at Apple.”

“Salakhutdinov’s recent research (PDF) has included work on how to better derive the context behind the questions people pose,” Fried reports. “Jack Clark, a former reporter who works at nonprofit artificial intelligence research firm OpenAI, called the hire a ‘huge get’ for Apple.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We can’t wait to see the fruits of his labor!

We’ve been seeing over the last five years a growth of this inside Apple. Our devices are getting so much smarter at a quicker rate, especially with our Apple design A series chips. The back ends are getting so much smarter, faster, and everything we do finds some reason to be connected. This enables more and more machine learning techniques, because there is so much stuff to learn, and it’s available to [us]… We use these techniques to do the things we have always wanted to do, better than we’ve been able to do. And on new things we haven’t be able to do. It’s a technique that will ultimately be a very Apple way of doing things as it evolves inside Apple and in the ways we make products… Machine learning is enabling us to say yes to some things that in past years we would have said no to. It’s becoming embedded in the process of deciding the products we’re going to do next.Phil Schiller, August 2016

Apple transforms Turi into dedicated machine learning division to build future product features – August 31, 2016
An exclusive inside look at how artificial intelligence and machine learning work at Apple – August 24, 2016
Apple rumored to be taking big piece of Seattle-area office market in expansion – August 12, 2016
Why Apple will become a leader in artificial intelligence – August 8, 2016
Apple buys machine-learning startup Turi for $200 million – August 6, 2016
Apple touts Artificial Intelligence in iOS and opens ‘crown jewels’ to developers – June 14, 2016
Smartphones to die out within five years, replaced by artificial intelligence – survey – December 9, 2015
Apple’s extreme secrecy retarding its artificial intelligence work – October 30, 2015
Apple hires NVIDIA’s artificial intelligence director – October 24, 2015
Apple acquires advanced artificial intelligence startup Perceptio – October 5, 2015
Apple buys artificial intelligence natural language start-up VocalIQ – October 2, 2015

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. This is very good news.
    Siri has very, very few usable skills right now. Hopefully in months to come this will change.

    Also, “Ina?”
    His name is Ian. Poor guy. 😳

    1. If the guys that made Siri threw up their hands at how Apple ‘downgraded’ Siri’s abilities, what makes anyone think a 3rd party will do any better in the areas Siri was weakend in?

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