As it announced in its Machine Learning Journal, Apple is attending the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing in Brussels, Belgium between today and Sunday, November 4.
Apple has set up a booth staffed with natural language processing experts from its Siri team and encourages conference attendees to stop by.
Apple has also highlighted an opening for a Siri-related software engineering position within the company, based out of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, where it has a research and development office focused on Siri.
“The launch of Siri was a defining moment in the history of Artificial Intelligence,” the job description states. “Hundreds of millions of people now use Siri to send a message, play their favourite song or even take a selfie.”
Earlier this year, The Information published an in-depth look at how Siri has transitioned from one of Apple’s most promising technologies into a “major problem” for the company. The report cited a dozen former Apple employees who reflected on Siri’s “squandered lead” over rivals Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Apple responded to the report with a statement claiming that Siri is “the world’s most popular voice assistant,” and touted “significant advances” to the digital assistant’s performance, scalability, and reliability.
We have made significant advances in Siri performance, scalability and reliability and have applied the latest machine learning techniques to create a more natural voice and more proactive features. We continue to invest deeply in machine learning and artificial intelligence to continually improve the quality of answers Siri provides and the breadth of questions Siri can respond to.
Apple has steadily improved Siri with features such as Shortcuts and customized language models that improve the assistant’s ability to recognize names of local points of interest, such as small businesses and restaurants.
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