Apple acquires AI voice assistant startup Voysis for improving Siri

By VARINDIA - 2020-04-05

Apple acquires AI voice assistant startup Voysis for improving Siri

Voysis, an Irish company that has developed technology that helps digital voice assistants understand natural language better, by focusing more into artificial intelligence which helps digital voice assistants understand people's natural language better.



Apple has been the top buyer of AI startups in recent years and has a portfolio that already includes former startups including Turi, Xnor.ai, and Laserlike.



Voysis was founded in 2012 and having offices in Edinburgh and Boston and got $8 million in venture funding from Polaris Partners in 2017.



The Apple acquisition is the second deal closed in this week. Recently, Apple  bought Dark Sky, a popular weather app for iPhones and iPads.



Now Voysis I the second acquisition in this week, Voysis had founded in 2012, sold its services to several companies. Reports said Voysis could likely be used by Apple to help improve its virtual assistant Siri's understanding of natural language.



Voysis focused on improving digital assistants inside online shopping apps, so the software could respond more accurately to voice commands from users.The USP of Voysis is it has developed tech that accurately understands voice commands from users .



In fact the software technology could narrow product search results by processing shopping phrases such as “I need a new LED TV” and “My budget is $1,000.” Voysis provided this AI to other companies to incorporate it into their own apps and voice assistants.



An Apple spokesman said the company “buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”



Voysis’s artificial intelligence (AI)-based technology was used primarily by companies who wanted to create their own voice-led apps and assistants independently of those provided by tech giants like Apple, Amazon and Google.



Voysis’s system taps into Wavenets, an AI-based method for creating more human-like computer speech that was first developed by Google’s DeepMind in 2016. Voysis co-founder Peter Cahill said in 2018 that his company managed to shrink its system to the point where, once the AI is trained, the software uses as little as 25 megabytes of memory -- about the same size as four Apple Music songs. That made it much easier to run on smartphones without an internet connection.


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