Original Siri Team Member Leaves Apple for General Electric

siri_ios_7_iconDarren Haas, one of the last remaining members of the original team that developed Siri, has left Apple to work at General Electric, reports The Information. Haas worked on Siri before it was purchased by Apple in 2010 and has been at Apple since then working on cloud engineering services.

Haas's departure follows the departure of Steve D'Aurora and comes amid rumors that Apple's efforts to move its cloud infrastructure in-house has been slowed by "political infighting" between the iCloud and Siri engineering teams.
Political infighting has engulfed Apple's engineering ranks after the company decided to extend the software platform built by Siri's team to Apple's other Internet services such as iCloud and iTunes. At GE, Messrs. Haas and D'Aurora are working on a similar cloud software platform.
Earlier this week, other members of the original Siri team, including co-founders Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer, debuted Viv, a next-generation AI bot able to carry out complex tasks by mimicking the "spontaneity and knowledge base" of a human assistant.


In a demonstration at TechCrunch Disrupt, Viv was shown to be far more advanced than Siri with improved contextual awareness and an ability to craft in-depth responses to complicated questions on the fly. Viv's creators plan to build it into a range of products from cars to smart refrigerators.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
49 months ago

Political infighting is torture.


There's infighting with different ways to develop technology, and there's common sense. Just as an example, why Siri doesn't have any offline functionality from 5 years of development is beyond me. Siri seems to be the unloved middle child of Apple's already dysfunctional services family.

I dunno. It seems people clammer for the most obvious of features, complain endlessly, and then when Apple finally release them, they act like they've had a prophetic vision and are doing an incredible service to the consumer.

I imagine nobody here would mind as much if they weren't self-professing how they're changing the world like they're the second coming. Maybe it's the attitude, not the products.
Rating: 8 Votes
Avatar
49 months ago
If SJ were still there Darren wouldn't leave. The general public knows the thrill is gone and innovation is almost dead at Apple. Companies and CEOs can ride on the greatness of their predecessors for only so long before the jig is up. Ive was only great with SJ riding him daily. Now he's just another over the hill rockstar releasing passé music. It might be generous giving Apple a 2016/2017 window to show us they are still number one. They need some SJ like innovation in design and hardware in 2016 to prove they are still leaders in innovation otherwise 2017 will just confirm they're playing catch up. Actually they're already playing catch up. I hope what Gruber says is true and that the iP7 will be a killer redesign. Unfortunately that still doesn't fix the problem with their desktops, notebooks and iCloud offerings.
Rating: 5 Votes
Avatar
49 months ago



Has Cook lost control?


You assume he ever was in control. But recall the staffing issues early in his tenure with Forstall, Mansfield, Browett, the ignominious debut of Maps, the miscalculation of announcing the 27" iMac at Xmas time even as he knew supply would be near zero. The AW pre-order was massively screwed up because of a production foul up that happened even before they announced the pre-sale date.

And unlike SJ, instead of sticking his nose to the grindstone on products, TC seeks out the media and personal press like a Kardashian. A lot of amateur hour stuff if you ask me. He had a ton of good will when Jobs passed because he inherited unfillable shoes. But he's squandered much of that AFAIC. Maybe he'll surprise us at WWDC.
Rating: 4 Votes
Avatar
49 months ago
Developers should have some Siri API to make it work with their apps.
Rating: 4 Votes
Avatar
49 months ago
This just reminds me of how services continue to be Apple's achilles heel. Which is a shame since there is so much potential there
Rating: 4 Votes
Avatar
49 months ago
Political in-fighting like this - not a good time to be around on an affected project.

Maybe Apple could license and use Viv and retire Siri.

Has Cook lost control? An ineffective leader of Apple?
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
49 months ago


Maybe Apple could license and use Viv and retire Siri.


Heh, I hope not. I'd rather not see Viv die a slow death.

Has Cook lost control? An ineffective leader of Apple?


I think that's a little harsh. In reality, there's very little Cook needs to do to keep people happy. Value for money, regular product updates, and consistency across the product line. Applying that mentality would virtually appease everybody here.

In saying that, the profit-obsessed road that TC is driving down is massively disheartening. I really don't know why he's so hellbent on making Apple so ludicrously profitable at the expense of the product quality.
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
49 months ago
So it seems Scott Forstall was not the root cause of all politically problems at Apple.
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
49 months ago

Heh, I hope not. I'd rather not see Viv die a slow death.


Wouldn't Viv work out a lot better than Siri did?

Siri died because Apple bought Siri, took full control, and completely mutilated the vision.

If Apple merely licenses Viv, then the Viv team would be external to Apple and retain full control. When Apple requests that Viv does something, the Viv team is free to modify how Viv works, or tell Apple to take a hike and find a different AI.

Viv would be handled the way the parts of the iPhone are. Apple has some input, but ultimately another company is building the component and can make their own choices, and if Apple doesn't like those choices, they can go with a different company to provide the component.
Rating: 2 Votes
Avatar
49 months ago
So, those GE ads are really starting to pay off, eh?
[MEDIA=youtube]3xGoBlI_fdg[/MEDIA]
Rating: 2 Votes
[ Read All Comments ]