Apple has acquired UK-based artificial intelligence (AI) company VocalIQ that offers a native voice dialogue platform. The new development comes from the Cupertino giant to apparently improve Siri through adding resources from VocalIQ.
VocalIQ's voice dialogue platform is available for a variety of devices, starting from automotives and smart homes to wearables and smartphones. The platform provides a two-way natural dialogue flow that Apple could use in improving as well as expanding its Siri digital personal assistant.
"Excellent voice interfaces, with two-way natural dialogue flow, are the only way to deal with information-rich apps and services while at the same time, reducing distraction. Our technology generates a huge increase in task completion - dramatically reducing the impact of language ambiguity on voice control," VocalIQ explains the platform on its website.
Founded in 2011, VocalIQ is using technologies designed by the Spoken Dialogue Systems Group at the University of Cambridge, UK. The company provides developers an administration system that helps in adding voice dialogue features to their apps.
Although VocalIQ has not yet formally announced the acquisition, Apple, in a statement to the Financial Times, confirmed the deal without revealing any financial details. "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," the company said in the statement.
This is not the first time that Apple has taken a step to improve Siri. It got an uplift through the recently released iOS 9 update that also added an improved Spotlight search functionality to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Moreover, it received a new face through Apple's CarPlay technology that is already available in the market.
Apart from simply improving Siri, Apple is also expected to use the VocalIQ acquisition to bolster the development of its electric car, codenamed Project Titan. The company was recently reported to be in talks with the California vehicle department to prepare its debut in the automobile world sometime in 2019.