Apple seeks an army of engineers to make Siri smarter

Siri Problems
Siri is surely going to get smarter with Apple hiring 100+
for the development team.
Photo: Apple



Apple
wants to hire 142 people for Siri-related jobs, almost twice
as many as this time last year. Clearly, the company is
serious about turning around its troubled voice-driven
digital assistant.

Siri has been a sore spot for Apple lately.
Voice access is a
weak point in the otherwise-stellar HomePod
, while rival
smart speakers using Amazon’s Alexa draw positive reviews.

News of the push to hire Siri engineers comes from analysis
company Thinkum, which tracked
Apple job openings with the term “Siri” in them
. The
number of Siri job listings grew steadily starting last July.
A February spike put the company at its new high.

Apple hiring Siri developers
The number of Apple job openings with the word “Siri”
continues to rise.
Graphic: Thinkum



That’s
exactly when the HomePod launched, accompanied by
numerous reviews complaining that Siri was the weakest
feature
of Apple’s smart speaker. The Apple hiring spree
indicates Cupertino heard those criticisms.


Siri job
listings might mean bright future


Earlier
this month, details of in-fighting
on the Siri development team
came to light. The company
reportedly can’t decide whether the AI assistant should just
answer short questions and follow simple commands, or if it
should handle complex tasks.


Siri is
currently only up to the most basic requests. Meanwhile,
Amazon Alexa is much more full-featured, thanks to numerous
“skills” whipped up by third-party developers.


The big
surge in Apple hiring for the Siri project might indicate
that Apple made up its mind to compete head-to-head with
Alexa.



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