Apple’s ‘secret’ Siri lab in the UK is no longer quite so secret

“For the last two years Apple has been tight-lipped about its office in Cambridge, but now it seems the iPhone maker is ready to come out of the closet,” Matt Gooding reports for Cambridge News.

“The tech giant has repeatedly refused to confirm it is operating out of 90 Hills Road, next to the entrance of the Botanic Gardens,” Gooding reports. “But now its iconic logo has appeared on signage outside the building.”

Gooding reports, “In November 2015 the News exclusively revealed that Apple was hiring staff in Cambridge to work on its Siri personal assistant software, following its $100m acquisition of Cambridge University spin-out VocalIQ.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Ta-da!

Former VocalIQ staff working on Siri in Apple’s R&D office in Cambridge, England – November 3, 2016
Apple employs Artificial Intelligence guru from university that taught computers to ‘defeat humans’ – October 19, 2016
New hire could be critical step toward attracting high-profile AI research talent to Apple – October 18, 2016
Apple hires a big brain in AI to smarten up Siri – October 17, 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


  1. After asking Siri for two years to “set timer for 5 minutes” so I can go outside to get the dog I said yesterday: “Hey Siri, 5 minutes.”

    Siri: I don’t understand 5 minutes.

    Seriously? Are you ultra-stupid? My gerbil would at least say, “Would you like to set a timer for 5 minutes?” But no, not Siri.

    I find Siri maddening. And NO, she does not understand context between questions. In fact, I’d go so far as to say Siri is almost entirely useless. Apart from sending messages to people and telling me the weather I find Siri ridiculously inept.

    1. I’ve actually noticed Siri getting better at remembering context between questions lately. I have a Grocery List reminder list that I can add items to by saying “Add beer to grocery list”. I used to have to repeat “to grocery list” every time, but now I can just say “Add tequila”, “Add limes”, etc. after the initial add as long as it’s within a few seconds.

  2. Not news if you have used the lift in that building – the doors on that floor open on a desk with an Apple logo. That and the fact that the Cambridge MUG have a steady stream of ARM and ‘local’ Apple experts giving talks two of which were Siri related last year. Oh…and Microsoft who have offices a quarter mile away, show Apple on their local tech firms map, as using that address.

  3. I wish Siri would work instantly. I’m on a 6Plus and when I invoke Siri (with the home button or tapping the AirPods, it takes way too long for Siri to start listening, and then it takes way too long for it to do what I asked. That’s bad when they hobbled the design of AirPods to require Siri for most functions. Siri seems like a typical Eddie Cue production.

    1. I’ve also asked Siri to set an alarm for a particular time. It then confirms what I said. But when I go to the alarms, it has set it wrong. Not always. But often enough for it to be a problem that I can’t rely on it getting it right.

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