Apple hires Init.ai team to work on Siri

Earlier this week, a small startup called Init.ai announced that it soon would be discontinuing its service — a smart assistant for customer representatives to parse and get better insights from their interactions with users, as well as automate some of the interactions — because the team was (according to a notice on the site) “joining a project that touches the lives of countless people across the world.” TechCrunch has now learned what that project is: the team is joining Apple.

This is great news. As much as Apple touts Siri and how smart it is, I still can’t get it to work reliably.



  • Siri works great for me in limited domains. As a general purpose speech interface it’s not great (yet) and I think Apple over promised what it was going to be. Had they released it for limited domains and built it out slowly that would have helped keep expectations in check. Now it’s sort of an unreliable experiment that many avoid. I use it to make hands-off calls in the car, turn timers on and off when cooking, get stock quotes hands off and a few more things like that. Until I got trained to its syntax and Siri improved a bit even things like this were rough but they’re smooth for me now.

    The problem with Siri is Apple over promising a “Knowledge Navigator” like helper (Mr. Bow Tie). That, Siri is not (yet).

  • Tom_P

    Siri is stagnant for so long. Don’t get me wrong. I’m using her every day so I actually love her but she should be much more than she is now if Apple is serious about it. Why isn’t Apple as serious about it? No one knows. It’s such an important feature and Apple should have someone really brilliant leading the effort, much like they have one in chip department. Not Craig whose hands are already full and certainly not Cue who never has vision.