Roku hires Apple Siri architect Brian Pinkerton to lead advanced technology development

in General Discussion edited December 2020
Roku has poached a senior Apple Siri executive to lead development of new technology for its own streaming software and platforms.

Credit: Roku
Credit: Roku

Brian Pinkerton joined the streaming platform as its senior vice president of Advanced Development, according to a Roku staff page. At Roku, he will focus on "technical innovation and strategic software development across the platform."

Although his specialty at Apple involved Siri voice commands, his work at Roku will apparently involve broader and more disparate technologies. It isn't clear what those will be, but the streaming service highlighted Pinkerton's "more than 30 years of experience with leadership roles focused on human-centered problems in computer systems and natural language processing."

Previously, Pinkerton served as the chief architect of Apple's Siri digital assistant. He served in that role from January 2018 through November 2020, according to his LinkedIn page.

Before his tenure at Apple, Pinkerton served as VP of Search at Amazon and has held executive roles at search startups like Lucidworks, Technorati, Excite, and America Online.

Roku produces a range of set-top boxes and streaming hardware along with streaming software. In recent years, it has expanded its own software offerings, including the Roku Channel streaming service.

The streaming company was also one of the first third parties to offer the Apple TV+ subscription service, and recently began rolling out AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support to some of its devices.


  • Reply 1 of 5
    "A streamer box, cool. So, uh, what else do you make here?"
  • Reply 2 of 5 what does Roku Like day to day. What's your 'job'? That streaming box? And how many people...never mind. 
  • Reply 3 of 5
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    Can't believe Apple hasn't killed this thing yet. Really dragging their feet with Apple TV.
  • Reply 4 of 5
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    "A streamer box, cool. So, uh, what else do you make here?"
    If he’s going to be in charge of innovation, then maybe Roku is looking to try something new. 
  • Reply 5 of 5
    Just a thought. If Roku wanted to ship TVs with AppleTV's voice command functionality, he'd be the perfect hire.

    Another thought...

    I think Apple's Siri project would be enhanced if it had machine learning access to all anonymized spoken commands.

    You know how Siri still has problems with correctly hearing people? Well, the more spoken commands Siri hears, the better.
    With Roku being a large international brand, Siri would be able to train inmany languages.
    edited December 2020
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