VocalIQ Speech Recognition Startup Is Now Part Of The Apple Family

By 12:43 Wed, 28 Jul 2021 Comments

Buying out a promising startup has always been a huge part of the tech world and a major catalyst for development. Big players, such as Apple know this better than anyone and don't shy away from absorbing prospective initiatives. It the latest such deal, Cupertino has now found itself in control of the U.K.-based start-up VocalIQ, which has been doing innovative work in the field of advanced speech recognition through machine learning.

Acquiring such know-how is not only a generally lucrative affair, but is also usually done to further some existing company projects and analyst believe that in this case it might be Apple's own digital voice assistant – Siri. The wise-cracking helper has definitely come a long way in term of functionality, but so have competitors like Google's voice search and Microsoft Cortana and the recent stride in the area now seems to be toward natural communication.

VocalIQ might be just what Siri needs to become a more fluent and engaging conversationalist. According to the company's website it has been keeping busy tinkering with neural networks and machine learning to create a recent generation of intelligent and context aware AI. The main goal is to create a voice assistant that doesn’t require you to learn a set of commands in order to acquire your message across, which is currently the case with most similar platforms, but rather be engaging enough to ask clarifying question and adapt to the user and his or her natural speech.

This sounds terribly exciting on paper and Apple is actually not alone in this quest, as we have seen both Google and Microsoft innovate in this area, bringing the notion of context and preexisting conversation to their respective voice assistants. The race is still on to create the ultimate personal assistant and no definitive winner has emerged yet. As such, this deal might give Apple and extra edge in the AI competition.

As for the deal itself and its financial and business aspect, Apple has kept the specific to itself, as usual:

Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.

Last, but definitely not least, other rumors regarding the acquisition hint that it might boost development of Apple's alleged self-driving car project. This is largely unconfirmed as well, but is also quite possible, as earlier reports show that GM has also worked with VocalIQ in the past, towards a smart in-car eco-system.

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