Apple buys voice assistant/language technology startup

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has bought VocalIQ, a U.K.-based developer of a “self-learning dialogue platform” that developers and OEMs can use to create personal assistants that understand natural-language questions and commands. VocalIQ’s technology, which could be used to help Siri better decipher conversational language, relies on A.I./machine learning to steadily improve its understanding of human dialogue. Notably, the auto market was a focus area for the company, with GM a partner. Google (Now) and Microsoft (Cortana) have also been making investments in natural-language processing driven by machine learning. Facebook, meanwhile, recently showed off an assistant (known as M) that relies on both machine learning and actual humans to provide answers. iOS 9 brought with it Apple’s Proactive assistant, which uses both Siri and user data to push relevant content a la Google…


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