Last Siri Co-Founder, Tom Gruber, Retires From Apple

Tom Gruber, who served as head of Siri's Advanced Development group and was one of Siri's original cofounders, has left Apple, reports The Information. His departure from the company was confirmed by an Apple spokesperson, who told The Information that he was retiring to pursue "personal interests in photography and ocean conservation."

Gruber created Siri alongside Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer, releasing the original Siri as an app on the iOS App Store in 2010. Apple acquired Siri two months later, and Cheyer, Kittlaus, and Gruber all joined the company at that time.

siri voice
Kittlaus left Apple in 2011 and Cheyer left in 2012, and the duo teamed up again to create Viv, a new artificial intelligence project that was acquired by Samsung in 2016. Samsung used Viv to create Bixby, its current AI assistant platform.

Gruber stayed on at Apple for several years after the other two Siri co-founders departed, but with his retirement, none of the original Siri creators are left at Apple.

Apple's Siri team is going through a leadership change at the moment with the May hiring of John Giannandrea, former head of Google's search and artificial intelligence unit.

Apple just last week updated its leadership page to add Giannandrea, who is now serving as Apple's chief of machine learning and AI strategy. Giannandrea is leading Apple's AI and machine learning teams, and Apple has combined its Core ML and Siri teams under him.

Prior to Giannandrea's hiring, Siri development was overseen by software engineering chief Craig Federighi, who took over from Eddy Cue in 2017. Apple has been facing increasing criticism over Siri's capabilities compared to other AI-based personal assistants in recent years, with many suggesting Siri has serious shortcomings compared to options from Microsoft, Google, and Amazon.

Apple in iOS 12 introduced major improvements to Siri through a new Siri Shortcuts feature that's coming in iOS 12, which is designed to let users create multi-step tasks using both first and third-party apps that can be activated through Siri.

Along with Gruber, Apple's head of search, Vipul Ved Prakash, has also left the company, according to The Information. Prakash joined Apple when his company, Topsy, was acquired in 2013. His search team was also within the Siri group.

Top Rated Comments

DakotaGuy Avatar
34 months ago
I bet if you ask Siri she won’t know he retired.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PickUrPoison Avatar
34 months ago
This is probably a good thing. I'm optimistic that they are taking Siri much more seriously with Giannandrea on board. I don't know that much about him, but Google is definitely doing some exciting work. Hopefully we'll see some "wow" moments with Siri in the near future like Google achieved with its phone call demos a few months ago. At any rate, I'm glad to see Apple realizing that they need an AI/ML chief. This gives me hope that Siri's days of being the village idiot might soon be over.
In hindsight I’m sure Cook wishes he’d never put Cue in charge of Siri. When Federighi took over last year, it didn’t take him long to realize they needed an expert to take it on.

They went and got “the guy”. A brilliant hire, of a brilliant man. And a guy who knows who the next dozen or hundred hires should be.

btw thanks for a relevant post, but we’ll be buried by the forum clowns.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
yadmonkey Avatar
34 months ago
Sure, Siri isn't as competent as Alexa or Google, but she also isn't data raping you. I like that part.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HobeSoundDarryl Avatar
34 months ago
Siri will offer to look that up on the web for you... probably looping right back to this page.

Or perhaps look up something called TomGrouper and claim to not find anything.

Or perhaps show pictures of some guy named Tom with a catch of grouper fish.

Or since he's one of the creators, a Siri easter egg might proclaim him the greatest of guys who other guys want to be and girls want to meet.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DocMultimedia Avatar
34 months ago
The original Siri team got rich for good technology at the time, and stopped working on the day they were bought. Hopefully the new young/hungry team can get things moving again.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
robbyx Avatar
34 months ago
This is probably a good thing. I'm optimistic that they are taking Siri much more seriously with Giannandrea on board. I don't know that much about him, but Google is definitely doing some exciting work. Hopefully we'll see some "wow" moments with Siri in the near future like Google achieved with its phone call demos a few months ago. At any rate, I'm glad to see Apple realizing that they need an AI/ML chief. This gives me hope that Siri's days of being the village idiot might soon be over.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iphone 6 in hand

Apple Faces Another iPhone Lawsuit Over 'Programmed Obsolescence'

Monday March 1, 2021 6:44 am PST by
Apple faces a new class-action lawsuit that accuses it of deliberately releasing iOS updates that slowly reduce the performance of an iPhone, forcing customers to upgrade their devices. The lawsuit comes from the Portuguese Consumer Protection Agency, Deco Proteste (via Marketeer), which in a statement says that it will proceed with a case against the Cupertino tech giant because it...
PIA23764 RoverNamePlateonMars web

NASA Mars Perseverance Rover Uses Same PowerPC Chipset Found in 1998 G3 iMac

Tuesday March 2, 2021 3:21 am PST by
NASA's Perseverance rover, which recently made history landing on the surface of Mars, is powered by the same processor used in an iMac more than 23 years old. Image Credit: NASA As reported by NewScientist (via Gizmodo), the rover includes the PowerPC 750 processor, the same chip used in the G3 iMac in 1998. The main chipset is the same; however, there are differences between the...
magsafe charging brick feature

Prosser: iPhone 12 MagSafe Battery Pack to Feature Reverse Charging

Monday March 1, 2021 1:18 pm PST by
Apple is working on MagSafe-compatible battery packs that will be compatible with the iPhone 12 models, and leaker Jon Prosser today said on the Genius Bar podcast that one version of the battery pack will feature "reverse charging." According to Prosser, Apple is working on two versions of the battery packs, one that's a standard version and one that's a premium version with reverse...
iphone 12 pro display video

iPhone 13 to Include 1TB Storage Option and LiDAR Across the Board, Says Wedbush Analyst

Monday March 1, 2021 4:00 am PST by
Apple's forthcoming iPhone 13 could include a 1TB storage option for some models and LiDAR Scanners across the entire lineup, according to a report from Wedbush analysts. In a new note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said that initial Asian supply chain checks gave the firm "increased confidence" that Apple's 5G-driven product cycle would extend well into 2022,...
Top Stories 47 Feature copy

Top Stories: MacBook Pro, iMac, and AirPods Rumors, macOS 11.2.2, MagSafe Wallet Revisited

Saturday February 27, 2021 6:00 am PST by
March is right around the corner, and that means our first good opportunity for Apple product launches in 2021 as the company frequently has significant launches in March or April each year. We're hearing rumors about MacBook Pro, iMac, AirPods, and more, although many of these will be coming out at different times over the course of the year. This week also saw a macOS update to address a ...
microsoft edge ios android

Bill Gates Says His Preference for Android Over iPhone is Due to Pre-Installed Software

Friday February 26, 2021 3:35 am PST by
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates this week participated in his first meeting on Clubhouse, the increasingly popular invite-only conversation app, where he fielded a range of questions as part of an ongoing book tour. Gates was interviewed by journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin, and given that the Clubhouse app is currently only available on iOS, naturally one of the questions that came up was...
iphone 12 120hz thumbnail feature

Kuo: iPhone 13 Lineup to Feature Smaller Notch and Larger Batteries, 120Hz Display for Pro Models, and More

Monday March 1, 2021 7:50 am PST by
iPhone 13 models will all feature a smaller notch, while the two Pro models will be equipped with low-power LTPO display technology for a 120Hz refresh rate, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Several other sources have previously claimed that some iPhone 13 models will support a 120Hz refresh...
maxresdefault

HomeKit Essentials Worth Checking Out

Saturday February 27, 2021 7:05 am PST by
HomeKit was slow to take off after its 2014 launch, but now that it's been around for seven years, there are hundreds of HomeKit products available, ranging from doorbells and speakers to TVs, lights, and cameras. In our latest YouTube video, we rounded up some of our favorite HomeKit products that we find most useful. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. HomePod...
First Look Big Sur Feature2

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 to Prevent MacBooks From Being Damaged by Third-Party Non-Compliant Docks

Thursday February 25, 2021 10:07 am PST by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.2.2, the fourth update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November. macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 comes two weeks after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.2.1, a bug fix update. The new ‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌ 11.2.2‌ update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences....
Apple Prefer Lightning Over USB C Feature

iPhone Sticking With Lightning Port Over USB-C for 'Foreseeable Future'

Tuesday March 2, 2021 9:32 am PST by
Apple will retain the Lightning connector on the iPhone for the "foreseeable future," with no intention of switching to USB-C, according to reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In spite of much of the industry moving toward USB-C, Apple will not be using it to replace the Lightning connector on the iPhone 13, or indeed on any iPhone model for the time being. In a note seen by MacRumors yesterday,...