Former Siri Chief Bill Stasior Joins Microsoft to Lead AI Team

Bill Stasior, Apple's former head of Siri development, has joined Microsoft as corporate VP of technology, reports The Information.


Starting this month, Stasior will lead an artificial intelligence group at Microsoft and will be reporting to Microsoft's chief technology officer, Kevin Scott.

A Ph.D. graduate in computer science from MIT, Stasior was head of Apple's Siri team for seven years, following the departure of Siri co-founders Adam Cheyer and Dag Kittlaus in 2012. Cheyer and Kittlaus had joined Apple when the company originally purchased Siri in 2010, but didn't stay long.

Stasior stepped down from his role as leader of Apple's voice assistant group in February, as part of a restructuring effort by John Giannandrea, Apple's senior vice president of machine learning and AI strategy.

Giannandrea was a prominent Google executive before being hired by Apple last year. With Giannandrea taking over the Siri team, Stasior was said to be stepping away from day-to-day management of Siri, yet remaining at the company. However, according to The Information, Stasior cut all ties with Apple in May.

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



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5 weeks ago
He did such a great job with Siri…
Rating: 6 Votes
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5 weeks ago

Hmmm. Why would Microsoft want to hire a really poor, highly criticised ex Apple employee reporting directly to their chief technology officer?

Sounds like a perfect fit.


Maybe he is good at what he does and that the reason for Siri’s poor performance has nothing to do with his choices and all to do with Apple being super restrictive?
Rating: 5 Votes
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5 weeks ago
I hope that improvements to Siri continue to accelerate the way they have the past year. My #1 request: the ability to teach Siri how you say a word by typing it in and then saying it. So frustrating when I say “pitcher” and Siri dictates “picture”. My #2 request: make internet requests more seamless and robust.
Rating: 4 Votes
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5 weeks ago
Good! Old team members of Siri can go and ruin something else.
Rating: 3 Votes
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4 weeks ago

Settings/general/accessibility/speech/pronunciations

Record add your words. Enjoy and good luck.

That's a really fun little tool, and I'm glad you shared it! Unfortunately, it's meant to help Siri pronounce words that she reads. It doesn't appear to have any way to teach her how to interpret or make a distinction on how she translates something that you speak when doing dictation. It helps her speaking skills but not her listening skills.
Rating: 2 Votes
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5 weeks ago

I hope that improvements to Siri continue to accelerate the way they have the past year. My #1 request: the ability to teach Siri how you say a word by typing it in and then saying it. So frustrating when I say “pitcher” and Siri dictates “picture”. My #2 request: make internet requests more seamless and robust.


You’ve been able to correct and train Siri for years. Just click the incorrect word and either choose from the list that appears or correctly type/replace the word yourself. Siri learns from this. Been available for years.
Rating: 2 Votes
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5 weeks ago
Lol..he is being blamed for restrictions apple has on its development cycles. He deserves a better chance and hope this is the one. Good for him.
Rating: 2 Votes
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5 weeks ago

Wow! Very interesting. I tried it a few times. Still hasn’t gotten Siri to readily understand “pitcher” vs. “picture” in a neutral sentence. If I mention the word baseball, or pitch in the same sentence, Siri’s comprehension of “pitcher“ goes way up, which is interesting because it indicates that Siri is using context to help decipher words.

Related, I have friends who have a daughter named "Elise". And every time they'd mention her in (Siri-transcribed) messages, it'd come out as "a lease" (regardless of pronunciation used, and making the sentences make no sense). Much like your "pitcher". I figured out that if we all added entries for Elise in the Contacts app (even though she's only 4 and won't have her own phone or email for years to come), Siri's chances of getting her name right went WAY up.

It'd be nice if the Siri section in the Settings app had a simple key/value list, where you could enter names/words, and hit a "record" or "train" button next to the word and say the name/word multiple times, to teach Siri whatever word(s) particularly causes you trouble with Siri. And I'd be totally okay with Apple uploading that list (with permission) to help improve Siri. (I also wouldn't mind there being some trigger phrase, like, "Siri, you're a ***** idiot", which, if you uttered the phrase, after Siri completely blowing parsing on some request, Siri would then meekly ask if you'd like the previous conversation, minus the trigger, sent to Apple to improve Siri's training - you'd think they'd get a much higher quantity of directly useful data that way than by taking random samples, because people would be motivated to upload all the problematic bits.)
[doublepost=1566342109][/doublepost]

Cortana is about to get a lot dumber.

That's mean, but I laughed :)
Rating: 1 Votes
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5 weeks ago

Eventually they're going to have to train these things on regional dialects.

The type and dictate to teach feature is really looooooooong overdue.
As is a better understanding of mixed language requests like when you have to say an English app title but are speaking German with Siri..
And then the multiple requests in a row without having to say “hey Siri” each damn time!
Rating: 1 Votes
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5 weeks ago
Hmmm. Why would Microsoft want to hire a really poor, highly criticised ex Apple employee reporting directly to their chief technology officer?

Sounds like a perfect fit.
Rating: 1 Votes
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