Apple, the iPhone maker, is reportedly gearing up to nearly double the number of jobs associated with Siri, its voice-activated personal assistant, compared to the same time frame a year ago.
Cult Of Apple, citing Thinkum, a research firm, reported Apple wants to hire 142 new employees for Siri-related jobs. Thinkum also found that the number of job openings for roles that have to do with Siri has been increasing on a steady basis since last July. That is when the HomePod launched to criticism that Siri wasn’t that hot of a feature in the high-end voice-activated speaker, reported Cult Of Apple. The company appears to have listened to the criticism — thus the uptick in hiring.
The hirings also come amid criticism from Norman Winarsky, the creator of Siri, who recently told Quartz he believes the tool has come up short. Some of his disappointment stems from the fact that it’s easy to overestimate changes that might occur in the future. Still, Winarsky had a different vision for the tool than the approach Apple took. Siri’s founders saw Siri as a sort of concierge that would automatically rebook cancelled flights and book a hotel room if need be. But Apple took a broader approach, using the voice assistant for a variety of purposes, which meant the technology was harder to develop — and get right. As a result, Siri sometimes has trouble with spoken requests, and its usage is reportedly declining. In September of 2017, Apple did seek ways to enhance what Siri could do as an assistant. According to an earlier Cult of Apple report, Apple posted a job listing for a software engineer who also has some previous experience in psychology or counseling. The position would be in charge of designing and implementing natural language interactions into Apple’s voice assistant, Siri.