Apple Hires AI Team From Init.ai to Join Work on Siri

Apple this week "acqui-hired" the team from Init.ai, a startup that designed a smart assistant to allow customer service representatives to easily parse through and automate some interactions with users, reports TechCrunch.

The startup focused on creating an AI with natural language processing and machine learning to analyze chat-based conversations between humans.


Init.ai announced that it was shutting down its service earlier this week to join a new project.

Today is an exciting day for our team. Init.ai is joining a project that touches the lives of countless people across the world. We are thrilled and excited at the new opportunities this brings us.

However, this means Init.ai will discontinue its service effective December 16th 2017. While we wish to make this transition as smooth as possible, we cannot continue to operate Init.ai going forward.

Apple did not purchase Init.ai and will not obtain any intellectual property nor is there an indication that Apple plans to use any existing Init.ai services. Instead, Apple has taken on the Init.ai team, who will now work on Apple's Siri personal assistant.

The addition of the Init.ai team may hint at Apple's future Siri plans, with the company perhaps planning to build out more business integrations to supplement Business Chat, the iOS 11 iMessage feature that allows businesses to communicate with customers.

TechCrunch says it's not entirely clear how many people from Init.ai will be transitioning to Apple, but the startup only employed six people.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
39 months ago
Anything to improve Siri is good.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
39 months ago
I use Siri in French.

Turn the volume up, Siri (using Runtastic).
- I can't, you're not listening to music.
- Turn the speaker up.
- I can't, you're not listening to anything.
- Turn the general speaker up
- You're not listening to music at the moment
- I don't care about music, turn the general volume of the phone up
- Here's what I found for I don't care about music turn general tune phone app.

Siri seems very creative when finding excuses not to work.

Play music, Siri.
- OK. Playing music.
Then nothing happens. Ever.

Hey, Siri ?
Hey. Siri.
Hey ! Siri !
HEY SIRI !!!
*Walks up to phone, sreams*
HEEEEEEEEY SIIIIIIRRIIIIIIIIII !!!!
- What can I do for you ?

What's the weather like tomorrow ?
- I don't know where you are, location services are unabled.
- Enable them.
- I'm sorry, I can't.

What's 34 by 89 ?
- I can't do math (in French...)
*or*
- Here's what I found on the internet for what's 34 by mighty canine.

What does that mean ?
- I can only translate English.

Search the reciepe for guacamole on the internet please.
- Here's what I found for "search the reciept for gamma oil on skillet breathe".

Show me the way to go to X place.
- OK, I found the way to go to "Insert some place's name somewhere on another continent you've never been to".

How long to go to Brest (Brittany, France).
- OK, here's the way to go to Brest (Bielorussia, 3000 kms off).

Show me the way to hometown
- I don't know where *misspelled* is.
Show me the way to neighbouring village
- OK, here's how to go to *random village somewhere in Mexico*.

Hey, Siri, what were the results for Euromillions today ?
- Do you mean baseball, football, hockey ?
No, the lottery, Euromillions.
- OK, here's what I found about Uro minions on the internet.

Hey Siri, take a note that...
- OK here's your note : [That.]
I need to go to the hairdresser. Hey Siri.
- bip.
Remind me that I need to go...
- Bibip.
To the hairdresser
- OK, here's your reminder for later today [I need to go]. Save it ?
**** this ****
- No need to be rude.

Siri is stupid, Siri doesn't work, siri is useless. Siri is actually somehow worse than when it could only do very simple specific tasks on iOS 5...
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
39 months ago
I’m afraid it won’t help. The problem is in management. Siri creators left Apple because they were unable to move forward with their vision.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
39 months ago
I think apple saw the Google event earlier today and decided they needed reinforcements.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
39 months ago
Take Siri to the bus stop in the morning so she can go to school.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
39 months ago

Maybe soon Siri will be able to translate "Canadian English".

Oh you have the same issue we have in Australia? “I can’t translate Australian English yet. Sorry about that.”

Pretty lame given 99.9% of Australian English is the same as American English. It’s not like I’m asking it to translate, “Struth mate, I’m as dry as a dead dingo’s donger” into French.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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