Apple, to not many people’s knowledge, has an office located near MIT’s campus in Boston. Well, reports coming from Xconomy are saying that this office could possibly be being used to work on Siri, as many of the job descriptions regard speech recognition. According to the report, there are some “notable names in speech technology” making their ways into these offices:
Apple has assembled a small team of notable names in speech technology and is looking to expand those efforts in the Boston area, industry sources tell Xconomy.
Based on their online job profiles, we can say that members of the Apple speech team here are working on Siri, the company’s voice-activated virtual assistant. Details beyond that are hard to come by, however, even for others in the field.
According to Xconomy, there is also the possibility that Apple is simply doing away with Nuance, the company that has been behind the speech recognition of Siri since before the company (Siri) was acquired by Apple in 2010:
You’d have to imagine that sets off alarm bells at Nuance, which has traditionally supplied the speech-recognition technology inside Siri. By opening its own speech-technology office here—stocked with former Nuance employees, no less—Apple could be signaling a move away from relying on Nuance for Siri’s guts.
This wouldn’t surprise me at all if Apple was building a Nuance replacement. Apple prefers doing everything top-down, or owning everything it uses. This would bring Apple that much closer to owning every last part of what iOS, and the OS X Dictation uses for its speech recognition abilities. Definitely keep an eye out on this rumor.
What do you think? Should Apple replace Nuance? Do you think it will? Let us know in the comments, or tweet me @TiP_Kyle.