Apple has not revealed any financial transactions of the deal, though confirmed the acquisition in a common press statement. The company claims to have developed the world’s first “self-learning API” to “allow real conversation between human and the Internet of Things”.
But it’s not just about recognizing speech.
[Apple’s Tim Cook values Microsoft partnership]. Rather than making machines more human like, users have to be more robotic in giving out commands for proper functioning, which easily turned out to be more tedious than what they worth. If and when they have something important to say.
Tech Times reports that VocalIQ’s speech technology uses an Artificial Intelligence (AI) technique called deep learning to help it to communicate with people more naturally. A vocal dialogue system could help by enabling the driver to chat with a machine and receive directions while paying attention to the road. Siri is already in direct competition with Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa and Google Now for the top virtual assistant.
Apart from simply improving Siri, Apple is also expected to use the VocalIQ acquisition to bolster the development of its electric auto, codenamed Project Titan.
As Daring Fireball notes, the VocalIQ team hasn’t always been complimentary about Siri in the past.
The consumer demand for a self-learning multi-domain conversational voice system where consumers can freely talk about movies, restaurants, music, hotel bookings and the meaning of life, is huge and undeniable. Siri itself started out as an independent app which Apple purchased in April 2010, and recently gained a few extra proactive features and in-app capabilities with iOS 9. While the details of the transaction are not known, Apple did comment that it “buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our objective or plans”.