Apple has acquired Irish AI startup Voysis to improve speech recognition on its voice assistant Siri.
A few days ago, Apple announced the takeover of the Dark Sky weather app. The second takeover is the Irish AI startup Voysis. The company intends to help the iPhone producer to improve its digital voice assistant Siri.
Voysis has developed a platform that should improve the understanding of human language by language assistants. Nothing is known about the details of the deal. Apple stated that by default that the group buys small tech companies from time to time, but does not comment on these acquisitions.
Voysis developed AI for shopping apps
Voysis focused in particular on the possibility of integrating its AI software into shopping apps from various providers. The startup was founded in 2012 and its AI software is based on the Wavenet model launched by Google Deepmind in 2016.
According to the developers, the Wavenets are able to imitate human voices and make existing output voices sound more natural in text-to-speech systems. According to the company, their software reduces the gap to human performance by over 50 percent.
In 2018, Voysis co-founder Peter Cahill explained that the AI developed by the company only requires 25MB of storage space. This makes it easier to run them on smartphones without an internet connection.
Siri will understand voice commands better
Apple might use the know-how acquired through Voysis to improve Siri in recognizing human voice commands. In addition, the startup’s platform can be made available to developers who are involved in the optimization of Apple’s digital assistant. Apple has bought several AI startups in recent years, such as Turi, xnor.ai and Laserlike.