Siri may be getting a new voice soon, as Apple is reportedly building a team of top speech technologists in Boston to eventually eliminate Siri’s dependence on Nuance. Let’s hope it doesn’t affect her comedic timing.
Although Nuance continues to power Siri’s speech recognition, a number of former Nuance employees reportedly are now part of Apple’s in-house efforts to develop a new speech recognition technology to power Siri, reducing its technological dependency on third-parties.
According to a report last week, a number of VoiceSignal Technologies, a speech software firmed acquired by Nuance, are now filling leading roles developing Siri as an in-house application for Apple.
Xconomy reported that the leader of the Apple team is Gunnar Evermann as Manager, Siri Speech. Evermann moved from Apple’s California headquarters to Boston. Nuance’s former vice president of research, Larry Gillick, is now listed by Apple as “Chief Speech Scientist, Siri,” according to the report.
Don McAllaster, who worked with Gillick when both were at speech firm Dragon Systems, is reportedly Siri’s senior research scientist.
“By opening its own speech-technology office here – stocked with former Nuance employees, no less – Apple could be signaling a move away from relying on Nuance for Siri’s guts,” Xconomy opined.
Apple is noted for its desire to move as much of its key technologies as possible in-house.
Apple may also be keen to cut ties with Nuance, as the Boston-based company also supplies speech technology to arch rival Samsung.