In a fresh report from The Information, Tom Gruber, one of the original co-founders of Siri, has said bye-bye to Apple. Gruber was the head of Siri’s Advanced Development group. Notably, Vipul Ved Prakash, head of the search, has also left the company.
The report was confirmed by an Apple’s spokeswoman. Gruber is going to “pursue his personal interests in photography and ocean conservation.” In the absence of Gruber, the team will now be headed by John Giannandrea, who was research and search head of Google’s artificial intelligence project.
Siri’s Last Co-founder Tom Gruber Left Apple
Apple had bought Siri Inc. in April 2010 for $200 million; it was then a digital assistant start-up and Gruber was the last of three co-founders.
Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer, the two other co-founders of Siri Inc., had already left Apple a few years ago.
Kittlaus and Cheyer then started their own digital assistant start-up Viv Labs, which was taken over by Samsung in 2016 for more than $200 million.
To strengthen its Siri, Apple had acquired Topsy, a search engine company owned by Vipul Ved Prakash. Apple bought Topsy for more than $200 million in 2013.
Apple’s Siri had positive reviews initially when it was first integrated into the iPhone 4S in 2011. Siri was one of the first mainstream voice assistants installed in a popular electronics device. Amazon’s Alexa came years later.
However, Apple failed to update the technology to keep Siri competitive with Alexa and Google Assistant.
Ever since the introduction of Siri, this project has witnessed a lot of leadership change as recently Giannandrea took over the group from Craig Federighi.
Federighi was senior vice president of software engineering at Apple. And before Federighi, Eddy Cue was looking after Siri project. Cue held the position as vice president of Internet software and services at Apple.
The frequent role changing in the Siri team may hamper the growth of Apple’s digital assistant. Note that mobile giants use voice assistants to keep tabs on consumer behavior. Users have started to explore the Internet by using their voice, as they don’t want to use their thumbs and fingers. Since digital assistants are connected to the Internet, companies store the data on their servers and get to know what users have searched with their voice.
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