or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Apple assembling speech recognition tech team in Boston to improve Siri
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Apple assembling speech recognition tech team in Boston to improve Siri

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
Apple has put together a small team of experts in speech recognition technology in Boston, in an effort to bolster its voice-driven Siri personal assistant service.

Siri


Details of Apple's hiring push in Massachusetts were revealed on Friday by Xconomy, which discovered a series of online job profiles for the new hires. The details reveal that those personnel brought onto Apple's team are working on the Siri team.

Apple's Boston team is said to have previously worked at a company called VoiceSignal Technologies, which was purchased by Nuance in 2007 for $293 million. Nuance's voice recognition technology is currently used for Siri's language detection capabilities.

But as a third-party company, Nuance also licenses its technology to Apple's competition, including Samsung and Google. It's possible that Apple's voice team in Boston could be an effort by the company to produce its own proprietary technology that wouldn't need to be shared with competitors.

Apple has had an office in Boston's Kendall Square for some time, as the local presence was first revealed by the Boston Globe in January. The office is part of the Cambridge Innovation Center, but its purpose was previously unknown.

Though Apple is still primarily based out of Cupertino, Calif., the company has expanded its American research, development and corporate support presence in recent years with new major operations across the country. In addition to its major operations center in Austin, Tex., Apple also has a chip development team in Orlando, Fla., and a number of fingerprint sensor experts in Melbourne, Fla., along with major data centers in Oregon, Nevada and North Carolina.
post #2 of 37
Well, if they can get Siri to understand a Boston accent, she will be able to understand just about anybody. Except the Scott's. 1smile.gif
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FFRoYhTJQQ
Crying? No, I am not crying. I am sweating through my eyes.
Reply
Crying? No, I am not crying. I am sweating through my eyes.
Reply
post #3 of 37

This is the right move for Apple.  They tried to buy Nuance, but were unable to.

 

More importantly, as mobile devices become more powerful, and Apple is able to add increasingly sophisticated special processors to their AX SoCs, the opportunity for better voice support are only increasing. 

 

There's no way Apple could do this with Nuance.  SIRI would be much better if it didn't require an always present net connection to work, thus voice recognition on the device is a key future direction. 

 

It's also something that a company like Google will not be able to rip off. (Though they will pretend to have done so, as they always do.)

 

Voice Recognition is not a trivial problem, either, so dependance on a third party who may not share your priorities for features or concern about quality is even worse than in other cases (like Maps).

post #4 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdaddyp View Post

Well, if they can get Siri to understand a Boston accent, she will be able to understand just about anybody. Except the Scott's. 1smile.gif
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FFRoYhTJQQ


Be careful insulting the Scots. You'll make an enemy for life

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LnVIo3Bwzs

post #5 of 37
I hate that Siri takes up the entire screen -- especially when I'm using Maps for turn-by-turn directions.
post #6 of 37
Why does Siri have to be a girl, I want a sexy Hugh Jackman voice. I would defiantly use it more that's for sure, Suri, would you love me if I was fat, absolutely darling, I love you Siri.
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
post #7 of 37

How d'ya like them Apples?

post #8 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyb0731 View Post

Be careful insulting the Scots. You'll make an enemy for life

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LnVIo3Bwzs

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMS2VnDveP8

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply
post #9 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdaddyp View Post

Well, if they can get Siri to understand a Boston accent, she will be able to understand just about anybody. Except the Scott's. 1smile.gif
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FFRoYhTJQQ

Even I can't understand Scottish Star Trek

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OT08xFj836I

post #10 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessi View Post

They tried to buy Nuance, but were unable to.

Do you have any citations? I never heard this before. It is pretty obvious that Nuance has a huge market cap (6B) and is involved in lots of things that Apple would probably never want to deal with, but I always assumed that they never even considered trying to buy them.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply
post #11 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Even I can't understand Scottish Star Trek
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OT08xFj836I

Hehe, That's nothing, I speak Swiss German(Schweizerdeutsch), much, much different sounding then High German(Hochdeutsche). Siri has no idea what I'm saying half the time.

This guys pronunciation is horrific but it's get my point across. I do like it when Americans try to speak our language though, it's so cute. I live about 15 minutes from where this video was taken.
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
post #12 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Do you have any citations? I never heard this before. It is pretty obvious that Nuance has a huge market cap (6B) and is involved in lots of things that Apple would probably never want to deal with, but I always assumed that they never even considered trying to buy them.

Agreed. I never heard that news either and find no references to it. On the other hand there are several bloggers who suggested Apple should look into doing so. That's probably where the confusion (?) originates.
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
post #13 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdaddyp View Post

Well, if they can get Siri to understand a Boston accent, she will be able to understand just about anybody. Except the Scott's. 1smile.gif
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FFRoYhTJQQ

 

lol that was my first thought on reading the headline.

 

Is Siri going to start pronouncing anything that ends in 'r' as 'ah' and anything that ends in 'a' as 'r'?

 

car = 'kah'

 

area = 'aree-ar'

post #14 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

This guys pronunciation is horrific but it's get my point across. I do like it when Americans try to speak our language though, it's so cute. I live about 15 minutes from where this video was taken.

 

Any tutorial that includes chocolate, wine and beer in the Top 10 Words gets my thumbs up.
post #15 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Any tutorial that includes chocolate, wine and beer in the Top 10 Words gets my thumbs up.

Yeah, I know right. I think I'm personally responsible for a very large portion of our chocolate exports. All of my friends who live outside of Switzerland are always asking for more chocolates, in my house right now I probably have over 100lbs of the stuff.
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
post #16 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple's Boston team is said to have previously worked at a company called VoiceSignal Technologies, which was purchased by Nuance in 2007 for $293 million. 

 

Yes, Nuance is infamous for buying up most of its competition... often after softening them up with long, expensive patent lawsuits.

 

Quote:
But as a third-party company, Nuance also licenses its technology to Apple's competition, including Samsung and Google. 

 

Nuance's CEO says they do NOT provide any technology to Google.  

 

Samsung and HTC, yes.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessi View Post

It's also something that a company like Google will not be able to rip off. (Though they will pretend to have done so, as they always do.)

 

Google has no need to.  Google's neural net based voice recognition is amazingly accurate.

 

If anything, Apple is doing this because Nuance isn't as good.

post #17 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

How d'ya like them Apples?

You have succeeded in hunting for good will

“What would I do? I’d shut Apple down and give the money back to the shareholders”

Michael Dell - 1997

Reply

“What would I do? I’d shut Apple down and give the money back to the shareholders”

Michael Dell - 1997

Reply
post #18 of 37

"Siri - Can I paak ma caa in Haavad Yaad?"

Sent from my iPhone Simulator

Reply

Sent from my iPhone Simulator

Reply
post #19 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

 

Nuance's CEO says they do NOT provide any technology to Google.  

 

That explains it.  I was wondering how people were posting that Siri has unreliable voice recognition when my Android phone is consistently spot on if they were using the same technology.

"Proof is irrelevant" - Solipsism
Reply
"Proof is irrelevant" - Solipsism
Reply
post #20 of 37
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

This guys pronunciation is horrific but it's get my point across. I do like it when Americans try to speak our language though, it's so cute. I live about 15 minutes from where this video was taken.

 

Ich bin ein Berliner!

 

("I am a Berlin-style jelly-filled Pfannkuchen doughnut!")

Sent from my iPhone Simulator

Reply

Sent from my iPhone Simulator

Reply
post #21 of 37

And two of the people Apple should get to manage the tech in this speech recognition team are Drs. James and Janet Baker.  They invented the tech that Siri uses, but were swindled out of their company, Dragon Systems, and the IP was acquired by Nuance, who've not done much but market it.  Dr. & Dr. Baker did try to regain some of the IP that was their life-work, through a lawsuit against Goldman Sachs, but... you guessed it... the bankers won.  Would be really great to see Apple cut them back in to their own work, somehow.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/15/business/goldman-sachs-and-a-sale-gone-horribly-awry.html?pagewanted=all

post #22 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post

That explains it.  I was wondering how people were posting that Siri has unreliable voice recognition when my Android phone is consistently spot on if they were using the same technology.

 

Google even publishes papers on their deep neural net voice recognition research:

 

http://research.google.com/pubs/SpeechProcessing.html

 

(Microsoft Research also publishes some interesting stuff.  Too bad it doesn't all make it into production, but you can download some cool things.)

post #23 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post

 

That explains it.  I was wondering how people were posting that Siri has unreliable voice recognition when my Android phone is consistently spot on if they were using the same technology.

Anyone who has used Siri voice recognition on an iPhone 5 will attest to how accurate it is -- very. Apple improved the microphone design in the iPhone 5 specifically for Siri and man does it make a difference. You can have all kinds of difficult background noise, yet Siri voice recognition on an iPhone 5 comes out smelling like a rose. Android voice rec. technology has nothing on iOS, unless you're comparing it to older Apple technology which wouldn't be fair.

post #24 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

Ich bin ein Berliner!

("I am a Berlin-style jelly-filled Pfannkuchen doughnut!")

I like guys who are squishy on the inside.1biggrin.gif
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
post #25 of 37
I'm sorry but I don't know what you mean by "Apple as emblem bling speech recognition teach team in Boston to improv Siri." Would you like for me to search the web?
post #26 of 37

This is now just happening? Ugh! 

post #27 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Getz View Post

This is now just happening? Ugh! 

Why is that so bad?
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
post #28 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

Why does Siri have to be a girl, I want a sexy Hugh Jackman voice. I would defiantly use it more that's for sure, Suri, would you love me if I was fat, absolutely darling, I love you Siri.

 

Siri is getting male voices with iOS 7

post #29 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post


Why is that so bad?

 

To just now putting a team together? This should have been down a year ago. 

post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Getz View Post

To just now putting a team together? This should have been down a year ago. 

Oh, yeah that is kind of strange isn't it. I wonder how much of priority Siri is though. I personally feel crazy enough already, so talking to my gadgets has never been high up on my list. In fact I have never witness anyone ever using it, must be one of those behind closed doors kind of features.
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
post #31 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post


Why is that so bad?

Should be done since they acquired SIRI. Also, should be predictive by now.

post #32 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Do you have any citations? I never heard this before. It is pretty obvious that Nuance has a huge market cap (6B) and is involved in lots of things that Apple would probably never want to deal with, but I always assumed that they never even considered trying to buy them.
I have heard this sometime ago just cannot remember the source.
post #33 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by TeaEarleGreyHot View Post

And two of the people Apple should get to manage the tech in this speech recognition team are Drs. James and Janet Baker.  They invented the tech that Siri uses, but were swindled out of their company, Dragon Systems, and the IP was acquired by Nuance, who've not done much but market it.  Dr. & Dr. Baker did try to regain some of the IP that was their life-work, through a lawsuit against Goldman Sachs, but... you guessed it... the bankers won.  Would be really great to see Apple cut them back in to their own work, somehow.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/15/business/goldman-sachs-and-a-sale-gone-horribly-awry.html?pagewanted=all

Wow, that is an astonishing report. Goldman Sachs getting money for delivering old rope - how disgusting. This is a story of two innovative entrepreneurial people, taking risks, working long hours, developing a company that employed 400 employees; only to be thrown on the rubbish heap, treated derisively and cavalierly by Goldman Sachs, a company which we're supposed to respect for its financial acumen? With antics like that, 'Wall Street', at least Goldman, deserves all the vitriol it gets.

post #34 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by dillio View Post

Siri should be taught the following new tricks:
-how to work with the headphone button. For all intents and purposes, it's useless via the headphones button, when I ride my bike. The timing is off, that by the time I start speaking the command, I hear the Siri-out tone. Very frustrating!
-how to change any setting on the iPhone: ex. turn off/on Wi-Fi, etc.


You will really like iOS 7.
post #35 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Getz View Post

This is now just happening? Ugh! 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Getz View Post

To just now putting a team together? This should have been down a year ago. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo1234 View Post

I have heard this sometime ago just cannot remember the source.


Apple has a very strong speech recognition team but apparently everyone was willing to relocate to California. In 2011 Apple recruited a very senior level specialist in the field who didn't want to move to California. When people of sufficient caliber don't want to move then even companies like Apple make concessions.

TL;DR: Apple began building this team at least two years ago.

Did someone really suggest that Apple should have predictive speech recognition? WTF is that?
post #36 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post


Did someone really suggest that Apple should have predictive speech recognition? WTF is that?

Nope. SIRI, not speech recognition. Sorry for being a little off topic.
post #37 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post


Did someone really suggest that Apple should have predictive speech recognition? WTF is that?

It would be like this....
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16528-innovation-speech-prediction-software.html#.UfT_9NLUn4Q
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Apple assembling speech recognition tech team in Boston to improve Siri