Apple Exec Overseeing Siri Departs Role

Bill Stasior, who has been heading up Apple's Siri team since 2012, recently left his role as the leader of the voice assistant group, reports The Information.

Stasior was recruited from Amazon in 2012 to oversee ‌Siri‌ following the departure of Siri co-founders Adam Cheyer and Dag Kittlaus. Cheyer and Kittlaus had joined Apple when the company originally purchased Siri in 2010, but did not stay long.

According to The Information, Stasior has stepped down from his role as leader of ‌Siri‌ but has not left Apple. The change in leadership is part of a restructuring effort by John Giannandrea, Apple's senior vice president of machine learning and AI strategy, who has taken over the ‌Siri‌ team.

Giannandrea, who has been pushing the ‌Siri‌ team to "focus more on long-term research" rather than incremental improvements, will be looking for a replacement for Stasior.

Giannandrea joined Apple in April 2018 as chief of machine learning and AI strategy, and at the time, it was reported that he would be overseeing both the Core ML and ‌Siri‌ teams. Ginnandrea was later promoted to SVP in December 2018.

Prior to joining Apple, Giannandrea spent eight years at Google, and in the time before that, he founded two companies, Tellme Networks and Metaweb Technologies.

Giannandrea's hiring came amid widespread criticism of ‌Siri‌, which has shortcomings in comparison to AI offerings from companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google. Apple made serious strides improving ‌Siri‌ in 2018 under Giannandrea's leadership, building out the capabilities of the AI assistant with features like Siri Shortcuts in iOS 12.

Top Rated Comments

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13 months ago
Oh, that's the best news I've heard all day! Hopefully, a new executive can bring about greater change than we've seen so far.

This should never happen when all you want Siri to do is "unpause the music":

Rating: 49 Votes
13 months ago
The jokes for this are simply too easy.
Rating: 31 Votes
13 months ago
"Serious improvements?" Seriously? Shortcuts are workarounds because the engine is deficient.

Siri still can't even reliably place calls to contacts, instead you get, 'Here's what I found on the web for XXX'. Voice recognition is right up there with Dragon Dictate circa 1993. 'hey siri' invariably turns into 'hold the home button', and on and on.

Siri needs a new pair of ears, and a better brain.
Rating: 30 Votes
13 months ago
Apple should hire Alexa’s Exec so Siri could actually become smart. And I’m an Apple fan.
Rating: 17 Votes
13 months ago

Apple should hire Alexa’s Exec so Siri could actually become smart. And I’m an Apple fan.

Apple should just dump Siri and allow you to choose between the actual voice assistants.

Apple should just use Alexia instead, Siri will never catch up it seems but I know probably would be an issue which sucks

Apple could also head up a consortium to develop a new assistant as a global, open source standard for AI in North America and beyond.

But they wouldn't do that.
Rating: 14 Votes
13 months ago
Siri knows how to push my buttons without a doubt. And I can’t even return the favor anymore because of FaceID.
Rating: 13 Votes
13 months ago
Shortcuts is probably the most complicated thing Apple has ever pushed out and instead of them trying to fix their stupid AI they want us to do it manually like what’s the point
Rating: 12 Votes
13 months ago

Never heard of the side button?
Posting statements without knowledge is a thing now.

Geez, it was fairly obviously a joke. Posting statements without a sense of humour is also a thing now, it seems!
Rating: 11 Votes
13 months ago

I'm inclined to agree. There's no machine learning there. It's a bunch of skills which work well but the actual brain of the thing doesn't seem to be getting any smarter.

I agree I don't find alexa to be 'smart' - it stumbles all the time.

But compared to Siri it's on a whole other level, mainly due to installable skills, but even more because it can learn and update without you needing to do anything. The weekly 'whats new with alexa' emails are full of new features. I can't remember the last time Siri added a feature.

One thing I have found is Alexa has got way better at predicting what you've said. If you mumble or mess up a word, its at the point where it can almost always figure out what you were trying to say. Siri can't do that at all and just feels very dated and 'dumb'.

Apple have no excuse for Siri, its just so far behind now that its not even funny.

The one thing Amazon has got so right is their attitude towards developers. They come across as very open. Apple come across as arrogant and afraid to open up to the outside world, which is mind bogglingly idiotic when its to freely provide your ai platform with more intelligence.
Rating: 11 Votes
13 months ago
Best to just abandon Siri’s old engine and start again fresh. Otherwise, Apple will be putting lipstick on an outdated 8-yr old pig.
Rating: 10 Votes

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