Exodus of original Siri team continues at Apple

Posted:
in iPhone edited May 2016
Almost all of the talent Apple acquired from the original Siri team has reportedly left the company, with a pair of key departures having taken place in recent weeks.




Calling him "one of the last members of the original Siri team," The Information reported on Wednesday that Darren Haas has left Apple for General Electric. He'll join Steve D'Aurora, another ex-Siri team member who resigned from Apple for GE a few weeks ago.

The changeups also come a few days after a team of ex-Siri personnel unveiled Viv, a new, advanced virtual assistant that aims to offer functionality well beyond what Apple's Siri can currently do. Demonstrated tasks include ordering a car from Uber, buying flowers from FTD, and ordering tickets from a variety of services, and offer intelligent, contextual responses, such as alternatives when a showtime for a movie is sold out.

Haas's departure affirms an earlier rumor suggesting Apple's "head of cloud engineering" was on his way out the door. The Siri team is said to have clashed with management at Apple, and have particularly been at odds with the team that oversees Apple's iCloud services.

Apple apparently decided to extend the Siri cloud computing platform to include services under the iCloud team's banner, like iTunes and iMessages. That transition is said to have made some at Apple feel uneasy about job security.

Both Haas and D'Angelo were key acqui-hires that came on board through Apple's purchase of Siri in 2010. The tech developed by the company debuted on the iPhone 4s and is now integrated into all current iOS devices, serving functions from creating calendar entries to answering basic user inquiries.

However, Siri was meant to do much more than its current feature set as developed under Apple. Prior to the acquisition, Siri integrated with a number of e-commerce providers, ranging from movie tickets to food orders.

But Apple stripped away those partnerships, as a result of decisions made by late company co-founder Steve Jobs, according to Siri co-creator Dag Kittklaus. He, along with Adam Cheyer, have since left Apple to work on Viv.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 79
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,297member
    Way to go Eddy! I'm sure a big bonus is coming.
    lord amhranthewhitefalconroger wadepatchythepirate
  • Reply 2 of 79
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 2,098member
    A talking shopping cart? God forbid...
    fotoformat
  • Reply 3 of 79
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    I use SIRI all of the time, for simple things, like setting timers, but considering that Apple bought SIRI in 2010, I feel that they should have achieved and added a lot more in almost 7 years time.

    What have the SIRI people been doing at Apple? They have 6 years to show for their work now, and is SIRI 6 years better than it was in 2010?
    roger wadepatchythepirateTomEanantksundaramjdwksecjbdragon
  • Reply 4 of 79
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,297member
    apple ][ said:
    I use SIRI all of the time, for simple things, like setting timers, but considering that Apple bought SIRI in 2010, I feel that they should have achieved and added a lot more in almost 7 years time.

    What have the SIRI people been doing at Apple? They have 6 years to show for their work now, and is SIRI 6 years better than it was in 2010?
    No. 
    roger wadepatchythepirateTomEanantksundaram
  • Reply 5 of 79
    19831983 Posts: 1,225member
    Not all that surprised. Siri hasn't advanced at the rate it should of by now. I don't use it and most people I know who use Apple products don't either. I have tried on a few occasions to go back and see if it has improved at all over the years, it hasn't! And still feels like a step backwards after Google Now. Yet another neglected and there for sub-par service from Apple like Airplay, iCloud and others...Cue be gone! That guy and Cooks apathy IMO are largely responsible for the abysmal state of Apple's services. They're a hardware company first and foremost and still don't seem to be able to get past that, even though they really need to now.
    edited May 2016 caliroger wadepatchythepiratekpluckicoco3
  • Reply 6 of 79
    NemWanNemWan Posts: 118member
    I guess Apple will just have to buy their new companies too.
    caliroger wadelostkiwipeteralt
  • Reply 7 of 79
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    Does Apple not know that Siri could destroy the evil Goog?

    Seriously if they can improve Siri the reliance on outdated web searches would shrink tremendously.

    I don't want to look up "nutrition for mature cats" and get thousands of useless pages ranging from Facebook profiles to people asking the same question on message boards with 0 replies.

    I wanna ask Siri and be done with it. Let Giggle's evil empire be a spyware nightmare of the past.
    edited May 2016 lostkiwi
  • Reply 8 of 79
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,799member
    I have really bad luck with Siri. For me, it only works about half the time so I end up repeating my question over and over in varying ways using different words or phrases trying to make it understand. It seems that Siri doesn't have very good fuzzy logic. If the question is an exact match to the database it works fine but how often is that the case, especially if the question has a dozen words or so?  I've discovered that even simple words like "to" "at" or "in" can make or break the outcome.

    Siri is quite good with some things though, like appointments, iMessage, launching apps, scientific questions, metric conversions and sports scores to name a few.


    edited May 2016 TomEanantksundaram
  • Reply 9 of 79
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    Heck Apple could even monetize Siri.

    AI assistance is the future not sure why Apple seems to not give a f***. There's billions left on the table. My number 1 wish for iOS 10 is improved Siri. But it should be improved every iOS release.
    lostkiwi
  • Reply 10 of 79
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,988member
    I suppose it comes to no surprise.  The original players came with the package when Apple purchased it years ago.  Their golden-handcuffs released and like entrepreneurs they are, they really didn't like the corporate stodginess that comes with a shop like Apple.  Tough to be just an employee when you were running the show before.

    What will likely happen is that Apple will simply buy them up again, rinse and repeat.  Nothing much really to read here.

    What's sad are the internal conflicts being reported (rumored) at Apple.  Honestly... I hope Tim Cook is keeping an eye on this stuff.  Sounds like he might have to drop the hammer on some key people if they don't shape up.
    nolamacguyroger wadepatchythepiratediplicationanantksundaramicoco3lostkiwi
  • Reply 11 of 79
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,912member
    Whoever did that capture of the Siri conversion needs to learn how to speak proper English. No wonder Siri can't understand people! High-school dropouts are influencing her with their poor education!
    wonkothesaneicoco3
  • Reply 12 of 79
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,912member
    cali said:
    Heck Apple could even monetize Siri.

    AI assistance is the future not sure why Apple seems to not give a f***. There's billions left on the table. My number 1 wish for iOS 10 is improved Siri. But it should be improved every iOS release.

    Siri has been improved with each iOS update. I just think that we are becoming so used to fast-moving technology that we demand more and faster updates from Apple.

    I, too, wish that Apple would have a more incremental update process... releasing smaller updates (publicly) throughout the year. Feed the need, rather than keeping the updates bottled up for an entire year and then doing a big release.

    Based on recent evidence, I think that Siri is gearing up for a big update this year. With the service coming to Macs, Apple better be plowing new ground for on-device processing of the speech-to-text.
  • Reply 13 of 79
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 2,098member
    People fail with Siri because Siri is counter-intuitive. My sister's, a professional and long time Mac user since the talking moose, first reaction to Siri was "let's make two Siri talk to each other and see what happens"... I tried to explain her that things don't work like that. People tend to personify a talking thing. This is not their fault or ignorance, this is just how the human brain works. In case of Siri and Apple at least, they forget that they've already interacted countless times with talking vending machines and alike and they expect a sign of understanding from their beloved Apple device. The immediate reaction that follows is obviously frustration.

    For such technologies which claim to replicate human's analog features maybe we should not try to "manage" people's expectations and should not try to "educate" them on how to obtain "meaningful database query results by composing optimally relevant natural language queries". This is what the actual Siri and all of its spin-offs require and this is counter-intuitive. This is why they are still "research" not "product".

    A big insight of Steve Jobs had been IMHO to put Siri on its feet, by stripping it off all the unnecessary gimmicks and attractions, to give us a decent voice-based interaction method that does (or somewhat does) the job. As such, Siri is just part of a greater user experience, and nothing more. Strip off that larger user experience Siri is being a piece of and Siri will not survive.

    edited May 2016 lostkiwi
  • Reply 14 of 79
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,799member
    coolfactor said:

    Apple better be plowing new ground for on-device processing of the speech-to-text.
    I don't think the speech to text is the main problem. Siri is pretty good with that part. It is more the understanding of the intent. That is where Google has a huge lead.
    techlover
  • Reply 15 of 79
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,774member
    Be Aware. Is this site called "Appleinsider" turning against Apple ? All the articles I see is deliberately pointing issues which may not even exists ?
    lostkiwi
  • Reply 16 of 79
    wood1208 said:
    Be Aware. Is this site called "Appleinsider" turning against Apple ? All the articles I see is deliberately pointing issues which may not even exists ?

    Its not this site; it's the nature of "newsworthy."
    Newsworthy isn't: everything is fine
    Newsworthy is: woman running down street with throat cut.

    edited May 2016 nolamacguyRayz2016
  • Reply 17 of 79
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,799member
    ac1234 said:
    Oh - that that would be Eddy "the Slob" Cue 
    Whenever he speaks on stage, he doesn't appear to be entirely sober.
  • Reply 18 of 79
    Don't get me wrong, I think Apple is a fine company, but Steve Jobs unwittingly created another IBM. The very company he despised. Apple is just like IBM from a corporate standpoint. Albeit, their product base is vastly different as is their core target audiences. Apple and IBM have more in common than differences these days. They both have so many layers that the creative and entrepreneurs sometimes get lost in the shuffle. This is a cycle in large conglomerates as someone else pointed out (wash, since, repeat). It's been going on for decades and will continue. Hopefully Apple gets the message that its innovative cycles need to be cared for and not rely on past achievements. I expect great things from Apple in the future, including a better Siri.
    roger wade
  • Reply 19 of 79
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 2,098member
    volcan said:
    coolfactor said:

    Apple better be plowing new ground for on-device processing of the speech-to-text.
    I don't think the speech to text is the main problem. Siri is pretty good with that part. It is more the understanding of the intent. That is where Google has a huge lead.
    Especially if that intent is used to sell as much "relevant advertising" as possible.
    edited May 2016 nolamacguylostkiwi
  • Reply 20 of 79
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,799member
    macplusplus said:

    Especially if that intent is used to sell as much "relevant advertising" as possible.
    Well, would you prefer your intelligent agent to return the correct answer along with some relevant advertising or return the wrong answer or no answer whatsoever?
    techlovernikon133wonkothesane
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