Apple Doubling Down on Artificial Intelligence as it Expands Seattle Engineering Center

Like many other companies, Apple’s focus on artificial intelligence (AI) is only getting sharper.

It isn’t a secret that outcries for Siri to get better, to expand its functionality, are on the rise, especially with the likes of Microsoft’s Cortana and Google Assistant on the scene. Apple has ambitious plans for machine learning and AI in general, with Siri hopefully earning the brunt of those improvements, and it certainly sounds like the company is making moves to help those improvements happen.

GeekWire reports that Apple is taking steps to expand in Two Union Square, taking up additional floors as it brings on additional employees to work on machine learning and AI. Additionally, it will also allow for Apple’s Turi team to move into the building as well, essentially aiming to consolidate its efforts, while also making room for additional employees to join the efforts along the way.

Carlos Guestrin is the director of Apple’s machine learning efforts, and he opened up a bit on Apple’s goals with the expansion in Seattle, Washington:

“We’re trying to find the best people who are excited about AI and machine learning — excited about research and thinking long term but also bringing those ideas into products that impact and delight our customers,” said computer scientist Carlos Guestrin, Apple director of machine learning. “The bar is high, but we’re going to be hiring as quickly as we can find people that meet our high bar, which is exciting.”

The goal with AI and other efforts will help the iPhone evolve into a more helpful, knowledgeable device. Specifically, that the iPhone will be able to learn about its individual owner, and be able to predict what the user will need, or want, and be prepared with what comes next as a result:

“But what’s going to make a major difference in the future, in addition to those things, for me to be emotionally connected to this device, is the intelligence that it has — how much it understands me, how much it can predict what I need and what I want, and how valuable it is at being a companion to me,” he said. “AI is going to be at the core of that, and we’re going to be some of the people who help with that, here in Seattle, but of course there will be tons of groups in Cupertino doing amazing things with that, too.”

Guestrin did say that the team’s aspirations reach out to ten years, but that they are also working on near-term solutions, and that these ideas are being developed for upcoming Apple products:

“It’s not just about doing research, but it’s about the technology transfer and how that gets embedded into experiences that customers love.”

The full interview is available through the source link below. Are you looking forward to seeing Siri improvements?

[via GeekWire]