Apple has bought Voysis, an Irish startup that stood out for the development of technologies that allow to improve the processing of natural language with virtual assistants.
To report the acquisition Bloomberg explaining that Voysis focused on systems that allow to improve digital assistants in online shopping apps, software that can accurately respond to commands given by the user.
In the Voysis web pages (now removed) describing their technology, the possibility of restricting the search for products was elaborated by elaborating phrases such as: "I need an LED TV" and "my budget of $ 1000". Voysis has provided its artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to other companies allowing them to integrate these features into their apps and voice assistants.
An Apple spokesman confirmed the acquisition of Voysis with the usual ritual phrase: "We occasionally buy smaller technology companies and usually do not talk about the purpose or post-acquisition plans.
Voysis takes advantage of Wavenets, a technology described as of fully convolutional neural network, able to reproduce the human voice in a very realistic way by sampling what it learns from training with human voices and developed by a division of Alphabet (Google) specialized in everything related to the AI.
Peter Cahill, co-founder of Voysis, in 2018 stated that his company had managed to compress the system to the point that, after AI training, the software needed only 25Mb of memory – making it possible to use it even on smartphones and without the need for internet connections.
Apple could use the technology in question to improve Siri's understanding of natural language or offer the Voysis platform to developers who could integrate it into their apps to offer the various possible features with the voice assistants.
Apple has recently bought numerous startups that have worked in the AI field; among the latest acquisitions: Turi, Xnor.ai and Laserlike. Voysis was founded in 2012, has offices in Edinburgh and Boston and in 2017 had obtained $ 8 million in venture capital funding from Polaris Partners (investment firm).