Apple is on a hiring spree to make Siri smarter

A photo of Siri on an iPhone

Although Siri was the first voice assistant to enter the market, it now faces stiff competition from Amazon and Google. Therefore it comes as no surprise that Apple is allegedly on the hunt for 161 new employees to join the Siri team and make it smarter and more sophisticated than its rivals. 

According to data site Thinkum, the latest hiring stats from Apple suggests that the number of new positions containing the word Siri has ramped up over the past few weeks. The site reports that there are now 161 Siri-focused roles, which are mostly based at Apple's new headquarters in the Santa Clara Valley, California, U.S.

The numbers show that Apple has always been on the lookout for new Siri team members, but there appears to have been a surge in positions since February 2018. 

As you'd expect, most of these roles are for software engineers with job descriptions that focus on improving Siri's general knowledge and knowledge graph.

Getting Siri-ous

This move comes as no surprise. Digital voice assistants are getting smarter and more sophisticated. And while they're still probably used mostly for playing music and barking commands about which track to put on next, they're increasingly being tasked with making our lives easier through support with routine tasks or home automation. 

This means that as we're demanding more and more from our voice-activated friends they need to keep up. 

Although which AI assistant you prefer from Alexa, Assistant and Siri could largely be down to personal taste, Amazon's offering is currently considered the best for advanced tech, accuracy and a good price point. 

With rumors suggesting Google is pushing even further voice tech advances this year, it's no surprise that Apple, once the pioneer of voice-activated smarts, is looking to bolster its efforts and try and put Siri ahead of the pack. 

But let's not speak too soon. Although Apple certainly appears to be ramping up its Siri team that doesn't mean it'll advance ahead of the competition any time soon. Watch this space.

Becca Caddy

Becca is a contributor to TechRadar, a freelance journalist and author. She’s been writing about consumer tech and popular science for more than ten years, covering all kinds of topics, including why robots have eyes and whether we’ll experience the overview effect one day. She’s particularly interested in VR/AR, wearables, digital health, space tech and chatting to experts and academics about the future. She’s contributed to TechRadar, T3, Wired, New Scientist, The Guardian, Inverse and many more. Her first book, Screen Time, came out in January 2021 with Bonnier Books. She loves science-fiction, brutalist architecture, and spending too much time floating through space in virtual reality.