REPORTS HAVE IT that Apple has increased its hiring of artificial intelligence (AI) experts in a bid to challenge the likes of Facebook and Google.
Reuters has the scoop, having heard from "multiple sources" that Apple is looking to hire 86 new employees to work on machine learning projects. The move comes as the firm looks to boost the Siri digital assistant in a bid to challenge the context-based awareness of competing products such as Google Now and Facebook M.
However, experts are already predicting that Apple’s hard stance on privacy, compared with the likes of Google and Facebook, might make it hard for the company to get to know users well enough to make accurate predictions.
"They want to make a phone that responds to you very quickly without knowledge of the rest of the world," Joseph Gonzalez, co-founder of Dato, a machine learning startup, told Reuters. "It's harder to do that."
What's more, a former Apple employee told Reuters that machine learning experts who want unfettered access to data tend to shy away from jobs at the company.
Apple declined to comment on the report, pointing instead to earlier statements from Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering at the firm, who said that Apple is "adding intelligence throughout the user experience in a way that enhances how you use your device but without compromising your privacy, things like improving the apps that you use most".
Apple is keeping quiet on its apparent AI push, but we're likely to hear more at the firm's iPhone launch event on 9 September which promises a focus on Siri.
We already know that iOS 9 will deliver a major revamp to the digital assistant, including a Google Now-like 'proactive' feature that means Siri will be able to respond to more naturally spoken queries and offer context-based intelligence.
We'll be covering Apple's event from 6pm UK time on Wednesday, so be sure to check back then for all the latest. µ
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