Apple Acquires Machine Learning Startup Inductiv to Improve Siri

Apple has bought Inductiv Inc., a Canada-based machine learning startup, to work on Siri, machine learning and data science, reports Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman.

The engineering team from Waterloo, Ontario-based Inductiv joined Apple in recent weeks to work on ‌Siri‌, machine learning and data science. Apple confirmed the deal, saying it “buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

Besides staff LinkedIn profiles, the startup doesn’t have an online presence, but according to the report, the outfit has developed technologoy that uses AI to identify and correct errors in data, which is important for machine learning and belongs to the field of data science.

Apple has previously hired knowledgeable people in the field, including dozens of engineers from consulting firm Silicon Valley Data Science in 2018. Apple is understood to be upgrading the technology that powers ‌Siri‌ and other AI-related products and services.

As Gurman notes, Apple has acquired several other AI and data companies in recent years, including, Tuplejump, Laserlike, Turi and Perceptio. Just this year the company bought Voysis to improve ‌Siri‌’s speech recognition, virtual reality startup NextVR, and popular weather app Dark Sky.

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Apple Acquired Machine Learning Startup Inductiv for Siri Improvements

Apple recently purchased Ontario-based machine learning startup Inductiv for the purpose of improving Siri, reports Bloomberg.


Apple confirmed the purchase with one of its typical acquisition statements: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

Inductiv’s engineering team joined Apple after the acquisition to work on ‌Siri‌, machine learning, and data science at the company. Prior to the purchase, Inductiv created technology that used AI to automate identifying and correcting errors in data for machine learning purposes. From Bloomberg:

Having clean data is important for machine learning, a popular and powerful type of AI that helps software improve with less human invention.

The work falls under the category of data science, a key element of Apple’s broader machine-learning strategy.

Apple’s Siri chief John Giannandrea, who is also responsible for machine learning, has been upgrading the underlying technology that ‌Siri‌ is based on with acquisitions of companies like Inductiv.

Apple has purchased multiple AI and machine learning-related companies over the course of the last several years, such as Voysis, Xnor.ai, Turi, Perceptio, Tuplejump, and more.

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Irish Regulators ‘in Contact’ With Apple Over Siri Quality Control Program

Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) is “in contact” with Apple after a former Apple contractor asked the DPC to investigate Apple’s practice of allowing employees to listen to Siri recordings, reports Reuters.


The contractor, Thomas Le Bonniec, requested the assistance of the DPC in May and called for greater protection under the EU’s privacy laws.

DPC Deputy Commissioner Graham Doyle said that the DPC “engaged with Apple” when the ‌Siri‌ issue first arose last year, and Apple “made some changes,” but now the DPC has additional questions.

“However, we have followed up again with Apple following the release of this public statement and await responses,” he said, in reference to the letter. “In addition, it should be noted that the European Data Protection Board is working on the production of guidance in the area of voice assistant technologies.”

Last July, contractors working on ‌Siri‌ quality control told The Guardian that they were listening to Siri audio recordings for Apple and regularly heard sensitive information that Apple device owners might not want shared, even with the data anonymized.

Apple came under fire for concealing the quality control practice and not making it clear to customers that some ‌Siri‌ recordings are listened to by employees for quality control purposes.

Apple in August 2019 ultimately suspended its Siri quality control program to overhaul how it works. Later in August, Apple ended all transcription and voice grading work done through contracting companies.

In October, with the release of iOS 13.2, Apple added a toggle that allows users to opt out of sharing voice recordings to improve ‌Siri‌ and Dictation, and it provided a way to delete all ‌Siri‌ and Dictation history.

Apple resumed ‌Siri‌ quality control practices in the fall with the release of the opt-out option. ‌Siri‌ quality control is no longer handled by third-party contractors and is done in-house, and Apple has made changes to minimize the amount of data that reviewers have access to.

Along with further scrutiny from Irish regulators, Apple is facing a class-action lawsuit for allowing contractors to listen to and grade the anonymized ‌Siri‌ conversations for quality control purposes.

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Sony’s 2020 LED and OLED TV Lineup Rolling Out With HomeKit and AirPlay 2 Support

Sony today announced pricing and availability for its new 2020 LED and OLED televisions, which it announced at CES in January to support AirPlay 2. Select Sony TVs will also be getting the Apple TV app at some point in 2020, but Sony has yet to confirm a date for that launch.


There are multiple new TVs available to order from Sony, all of which support Apple’s HomeKit platform and ‌AirPlay‌ 2. With these integrations, streaming content from your iPhone or iPad to a Sony TV will be possible, and select integrations with Siri will be supported thanks to ‌HomeKit‌.

While most of the new Sony TVs are up for pre-order, some are available now. This includes the 86-inch X950H 4K HDR LED TV for $4,498.00 at Amazon and Best Buy. This set has HDR, Dolby Vision, and IMAX Enhanced modes, and there’s also a 49-inch model priced at $998.00 at Amazon and Best Buy.

Additionally, there’s the X800H 4K HDR LED TV, which supports 4K content, Dolby Vision, and MotionFlow XR for less blur in fast scenes. In terms of smart TV features, users can control the TV with their voice by connecting to ‌HomeKit‌ and ‌Siri‌, as well as Alexa and Google Assistant. There are numerous models of this TV that can be purchased today.

The rest of the Sony TV pre-orders include the A8H Bravia OLED 4K HDR TVs and the X900H 4K HDR LED TVs. Both of these have models that can be pre-ordered now at select retailers, and shoppers can expect a launch date sometime this summer. For more information on all of Sony’s new TVs, be sure to check out the company’s announcement post.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

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Apple Acquires AI Startup Voysis to Improve Siri

Apple has purchased artificial intelligence startup Voysis with the aim of improving Siri, reports Bloomberg. Voysis offers a platform that allows digital voice assistants to better understand natural language.


The company worked to improve voice assistants in online shopping apps, allowing software to better interpret requests from users. The website, which is now defunct, said that the technology used client databases with AI tools that deeply understand the specifics of products, services, and vocabulary to make the user experience “easier, faster and more intuitive.”

The Voysis platform allowed customers to hone in on search requests with simple phrases like “I need a new LED TV” or “Just show me the 4K ones.” Voysis said that shoppers could use voice to find what they’re looking for 3x faster than typing using these kind of requests.

Bloomberg speculates that Apple could use Voysis’ technology to improve ‌Siri‌’s understanding of natural language, or offer the Voysis platform to developers to improve how ‌Siri‌ works with apps.

Apple confirmed the acquisition to Bloomberg with its standard acquisition statement: “[Apple] buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

Apple has acquired multiple AI startups over the course of the last five years, such as Xnor.ai, Turi, VocalIQ, Perceptio, Emotient, and more, to improve ‌Siri‌ and other AI-based offerings.

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Spotify Now Supports Siri on Apple Watch

Apple Acquires Weather App Dark Sky

Apple has acquired weather app Dark Sky, Dark Sky’s developers announced today. Dark Sky is one of the most popular weather apps on the App Store, known for its accuracy and storm warnings.
Our goal has always been to provide the world with the best weather information possible, to help as many people as we can stay dry and safe, and to do so in a way that respects your privacy.
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