Apple looks to improve Siri with artificial-intelligence acquisition

Apple Inc. has purchased an artificial-intelligence startup that could help make iPhone users’ interactions with the virtual assistant Siri more natural. Apple AAPL, +0.73%  bought VocalIQ Ltd., a U.K.-based software maker working on ways to improve computers’ ability to understand human speech and to “speak” more naturally. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. An Apple spokesman confirmed the deal with the company’s standard statement after an acquisition, saying Apple “buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” VocalIQ didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The acquisition could help Apple’s efforts to bolster Siri, which is controlled by voice commands and sometimes struggles to understand users. VocalIQ says on its website that its software helps computers speak more naturally…


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