Apple Acquires Voice AI Platform 'Voysis'

Apple Acquires Voice AI Platform 'Voysis'

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Apple has acquired Voysis, a complete voice AI platform for natural language instruction, search, discovery, and checkout.

The company 'confirmed' the acquisition to Bloomberg with the usual statement saying Apple "buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

Voysis’s system taps into Wavenets, an AI-based method for creating more human-like computer speech that was first developed by Google’s DeepMind in 2016. Voysis co-founder Peter Cahill said in 2018 that his company managed to shrink its system to the point where, once the AI is trained, the software uses as little as 25 megabytes of memory -- about the same size as four Apple Music songs. That made it much easier to run on smartphones without an internet connection.

Here's how Voysis describes its approach to AI:

We strive to minimize the time it takes to experiment. Reducing our iteration time is key as it means we can learn quicker. In addition, our pipeline system removes a lot of the traditional overheads with AI jobs. Everything is reproducible by default, tasks are de-duplicated automatically, code can scale over thousands of machines without our scientists needing to write a single line of code. Instead, they spend their time focused on the AI itself.

As we’re taking a vertical-based approach to voice AI, it’s critical that all of our core AI methods and algorithms are independent of any particular vertical. While we may be training them using datasets that are focused on specific use cases or a specific vertical, it’s important that the processes can be used in multiple domains and in larger multi-domain models.

Voysis touted its ability to help customers find what they were looking for quickly using natural language. "Users can search, refine and discover by simply describing what they’re looking for through voice or text." It's likely that Apple will use Voysis to enhance Siri.

Take a look at the videos below that provide an overview and example of Voysis search. You can download the iClarified app or follow iClarified on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and RSS for updates.