Apple Acquires AI Startup Vilynx to Improve Siri

Apple earlier this year acquired artificial intelligence startup Vilynx with the aim of improving the Siri voice assistant built into Apple devices, reports Bloomberg.

vilynxacquisition
The Vilynx website is now defunct, but the company described itself as "AI for media," and it developed tools to help media companies compete against Netflix and other major media giants. Vilynx had a tool that catalogued raw video to make it searchable, providing metadata for video, text, and images. It processed video and then provided relevant content tags.

The service also generated rich, motion previews of content offerings, and provided search tools for surfacing content across videos, articles, and images. It also included an AI-powered recommendations platform while also offering tools to see trending topics on websites and social media.

Apple could potentially use the Vilynx technology to bolster ‌Siri‌ and other AI-based software on Apple devices, such as Photos. Apple paid about $50 million for the company, with the acquisition confirmed through Apple's traditional statement: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

Vilynx's Barcelona office will continue to run under Apple, with Apple planning to turn it into a main AI research and development center in Europe. Approximately 50 Vilynx engineers and data scientists are remaining at Apple, and Apple is hiring additional engineers for the new office.

Apple has made several Siri-related purchases in recent years, acquiring Inductiv, Voysis, Xnor.ai, Turi, Tuplejump, and more.

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Top Rated Comments

BF1M Avatar
47 months ago
I'm sorry, could you repeat that?
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cnharris Avatar
47 months ago
How many companies have they acquired to "improve" Siri at this point?
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nwcs Avatar
47 months ago
I think people forget that in Apple’s world Siri is not just the interactive voice operations. It encompasses any AI they do from app selection to automation to music lists and more. I think people keep expecting a change to the voice interaction without seeing the bigger picture.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SDJim Avatar
47 months ago
Good news. Here's hoping the company who invented Genius could, I dunno, maybe incorporate some half-decent music/media recommendations into their subscription offerings?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Digital Dude Avatar
47 months ago
Anything would be an improvement, so I remain hopeful. This week I asked Siri what the weather is for tomorrow. She responded with the definition of a crow. I have eight HomePods, so when I ask a question from a nearby Homepod, a distant Homepod answers. With multiple HomePods, this is now fairly typical behavior in my place. There was a time when the so-called ecosystem worked better.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MauiPa Avatar
47 months ago

" improving the Siri voice assistant" ?

Well damn, I sure haven't noticed any improvement....
then you haven't used it. Siri runs my HomePods, and appletv for well everything you would expect, I love adding scenes to the home app and running them with Siri. Google has better fart sounds for the toddlers though, I will admit that up front
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)