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Apple acquires Laserlike, an ML startup that may make Siri smarter



Apple has acquired a small machine studying startup referred to as Laserlike, in accordance with a brand new report at the moment, and will use the corporate’s work to assist Siri develop into higher at delivering customized outcomes for customers. Based on The Data, the acquisition closed late final 12 months however went unreported till now.
Laserlike used machine studying to assemble lots of data from throughout the online, then ship user-specific outcomes to an eponymous app. Customers may submit their pursuits as plain-language search phrases to the app, which might then floor outcomes that could possibly be browsed like information and shared socially through an in-app “inbox.” Moreover, the corporate’s expertise could possibly be used to suggest extra websites to go to based mostly on a person’s searching habits.
Apple confirmed the acquisition to The Data, however didn’t specify the explanation for the acquisition. Laserlike’s workforce has reportedly joined Apple’s Siri workforce below Senior VP John Giannandrea, and could possibly be serving to with Siri’s search initiatives following the current departures of Siri VP John Stasior and search head Vipul Ved Prakash.
It’s extremely potential that Laserlike’s workforce can be working to enhance Siri’s long-troubled capability to fetch pertinent info from the online. Requests for info on particular correct nouns and ideas generally generate nonsensical responses and search outcomes, a phenomenon that’s been documented on Reddit’s SiriFail web page.
Whereas the issues are partially because of errors in language parsing and recognition, the standard of Siri’s net search outcomes has lengthy been mediocre, and may benefit from a better net canvassing system. The brand new hires may additionally assist Siri to floor routinely grabbed pertinent info to a person in Siri Ideas, an current iOS function.
Apple has been on an AI-related hiring spree in current months. Other than hiring Giannandrea and upping its efforts to recruit new Siri engineers, it bought Silk Labs, a privacy-focused AI gadget maker. It’s additionally searching for somebody to research and clarify Siri’s quite a few points to executives.