While voice recognition software is nothing new, Apple was the first to introduce an integrated solution for smartphones starting with the iPhone 4S in the form of Siri. However despite it being demonstrated with such aplomb, the end result did not live up to the expectations of many its users. What was particularly frustrating was Siri’s inability to understand the user, at least compared to the alternatives like Google Now which did a much better job.
However according to the folks at Wired, it seems that Apple could soon be improving on that by replacing the company responsible for Siri’s technology, Nuance, with technology that they have built themselves. According to the people that they spoke to, Wired found that Apple had been steadily hiring voice recognition and speech experts, who will presumably be working on Apple’s own in-house voice recognition technology which could eventually replace Nuance.
According to Abdel-rahman Mohamed, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Toronto who claims that Apple had approached him with a job offer, “Apple is not hiring only in the managerial level, but hiring also people on the team-leading level and the researcher level. They’re building a very strong team for speech recognition research.”
The technology that they could be replacing Nuance with is called neural networks. This technology has been employed by both Microsoft and Google in their own software, like Skype and Android Voice Search, resulting in much more accurate and speedy results, at least compared to Siri. Of course it remains to be seen if this is something that Apple will do but what do you guys think?