Apple may be looking to give Siri more smarts with a new report that the Cupertino giant has acquired UK-based start up Vocal IQ, which specializes in virtual assistant and speech tech.
The news comes from Financial Times, which says that Apple confirmed the deal in a statement, though it also added, "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."
Not much else is know about the deal or is it has been finalized, but Vocal IQ's focus does indicate that Apple has Siri on its mind.
"Vocal IQ introduces the world's first self-learning dialogue API, putting real, natural conversation between people and their devices," the company's website reads.
"Traditional spoken dialogue interfaces are handcrafted, fragile and frustrating. It is unrealistic to expect seven billion people to start talking to machines in a way mandated by a programmer."
Vocal IQ says that dialogue systems need to learn how people speak, and so it's tech asks questions until "uncertainty is clarified," which brings "real dialogue capability between people and their machines."
A smarter Siri in the car?
While boosting Siri is the natural conclusion for the acquisition, Apple may also be looking to further the development of a more natural AI that can be used for its reported electronic car plans, or even for a self-driving Apple Car.
There's also Apple's CarPlay, which could also benefit from a more developed and intuitive Siri. In fact, we may also end up seeing a more of Siri in the home as well.
"From smart-home and consumer technologies to mobile devices, wearable and automotive applications, our technology powers human computer interaction with natural, meaningful conversation," the Vocal IQ website says.
We'll be getting in touch with Apple for more information.
- Check out our iOS 9 review to see what Siri can do