Apple’s Siri Without A Biz Head

Siri Smarter, But Lags Behind Google Assistant

The head of Siri at Apple has moved on to another position within the company.

Bill Stasior, who has been in charge of Siri since 2012, is still employed with the tech giant, but is now in a different role, according to The Information. Stasior joined Apple from Amazon’s A9 retail search team.

While the company’s voice-activated assistant has made some significant improvements, two researchers revealed in December that the assistant still lags behind its competition, Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Google Assistant. In fact, Siri is considered to be the dumbest of the voice assistants and scored lowest in the researcher’s information category.

During the test, Siri correctly answered 74.6 percent of the 800 questions administered. Alexa answered 72.5 percent correctly, Cortana answered 63.4 percent and Google Assistant scored the highest at 87.9 percent.

“Over a 12-month period, Google Home improved by seven percentage points, Echo by nine points, Siri (nine-month) by 22 points, and Cortana by seven points in terms of questions answered correctly,” the report said.

Even Siri’s creator is frustrated with its progress. Norman Winarsky initially saw the assistant as a concierge-type that would automatically rebook cancelled flights and secure a hotel room, but Apple took a much broader approach, using Siri for a variety of purposes, which meant the technology was harder to develop.

As a way to improve Siri, Apple hired AI exec John Giannandrea away from Google and promoted him to Apple’s executive team, where he now reports directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook. Giannandrea’s department includes Siri, and he is reportedly in charge of the search to replace Stasior.

The company also plans to hire 142 new employees for Siri-related jobs, including a software engineer who also has some previous experience in psychology or counseling to take the lead in designing and implementing natural language interactions into Siri.


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