Apple’s new Seattle campus may mean big things for Siri, artificial intelligence

It sure looks like Apple has big plans for Siri.

Apple plans to hire 2,000 more employees for a new Seattle campus, the company announced Monday. A significant number of those jobs look like they’re focused on improving Siri and developing more advanced artificial intelligence.

While Apple already has about 500 workers in the area, this marks a major expansion in Amazon’s hometown and is a sign that Apple plans to significantly invest in its artificial intelligence offerings. According to Apple’s jobs page, openings at the new campus include machine learning research scientists, senior software engineers dedicated to Siri, and natural-language processing experts.

“Your work will advance and shape the future vision of our multilingual, multicultural Siri assistant, and Search applications used by millions across the world,” one job posting says.

The 630,000-square-foot campus will be located just a block from Amazon’s headquarters. Both companies are fighting to dominate the virtual assistant space. Amazon’s Alexa is a direct competitor to Apple’s Siri. While Amazon continues to dominate the smart speaker market, Siri can live on an iPhone in your pocket.

Seattle is quickly becoming something of a ground zero for the development of artificially intelligent voice assistants. Google, which has its own Google Assistant, plans to open a campus there this year. Right next door is Redmond, the home of Microsoft, which makes Cortana.

“”These new jobs confirm what we already knew — we have the best talent and city anywhere,” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said in a statement Monday. “Apple’s expanded footprint in Seattle is another example of the growing opportunity that exists for residents of Seattle and the economic powerhouse our city has become.”

Smart speakers and other voice assistants have begun to evolve past easy ways to get answers to random trivia questions. Researchers at the University of Washington have developed an algorithm that lets your smart speaker or smartphone detect cardiac arrest in your sleep.

Apple will likely charge its new Seattle hires with figuring out new ways to use these voice assistants. More importantly, it’s up to them to make sure that Siri just works, without being confused by how you phrase a question — all in multiple languages. That’s no easy task, but it certainly looks like it’s one that Apple plans to take on in order to convince you to choose Siri over Alexa.

Deals

These Prime Day deals knock Echo and Ring prices to ridiculous lows

fter weeks of anticipation, Amazon Prime Day deals are finally here, with 24 more hours of non-stop deals. Prime Day is loaded with deep discounts on Echo, Ring Video Doorbells and Fire TV devices
Smart Home

Google Home vs. Amazon Echo: Which one is better for you?

What happens when you compare the Google Home to the Amazon Echo? Both smart speakers have good qualities, but what happens when you compare theie features side-by-side? We think one of these smart gadgets wins over the other.
Smart Home

Make Alexa your own: How to change the digital assistant's voice

If you live in a country where English is not the primary language, or you're learning a second language and want to get all the practice you can get, you can set Alexa's default language to one of nine other languages.
Home Theater

Amazon is reportedly planning a bigger, better Echo smart speaker

There's a lot of competition in the smart speaker space, which may be why reports now say that Amazon is planning a new, better-sounding version of its Echo smart speaker for 2020.
Cars

Toyota’s futuristic golf cart will transport people around at the 2020 Olympics

Toyota is reinventing the golf cart for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. The company designed a vehicle named the Accessible People Mover that will transport visitors, athletes, and staff members from venue to venue.
Photography

With 6 stops of stabilization, the Fujifilm XF 16-80mm F4 focuses on versatility

The new Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-80mm F4 lens is designed for versatility. The stabilized 5x zoom lens packs in a close focusing distance, autofocus designed for stills and video, and weather-sealing.
Mobile

Samsung’s latest RAM chips can move data superfast on your next-gen smartphone

Samsung just announced its fastest RAM chips yet, boasting 44 GB/s transfer speeds with LPDDR5 technology on a 10-nm process. These 12-gigabyte monsters are meant to take 5G and A.I. to the next level on your next-gen smartphone.
Movies & TV

Top Gun: Maverick: Everything we know about the movie so far

The 1986 action drama Top Gun helped make Tom Cruise a superstar, and now he's returning to the role of hotshot pilot Pete Maverick Mitchell in Top Gun: Maverick. Here's what we know about the movie so far.
News

These 6 popular browser extensions are selling your data

Some popular browser extensions are collecting and selling your data, according to a a new investigation. The extensions in question are Hover Zoom, SpeakIt!, SuperZoom, SaveFrom.net Helper, FairShare Unlock and PanelMeasurement.
Movies & TV

Edward Furlong, Terminator 2's John Connor, returns for Terminator: Dark Fate

The most recent Terminator films didn't do so well, but now James Cameron has returned to try and reinvigorate the franchise. Here's everything we know about the cast, crew, and story of the upcoming Terminator: Dark Fate movie.
Emerging Tech

Trippy VR demo reads your brain waves to create sleep-inducing visuals

Struggle to get to sleep? Researchers in Australia have been experimenting with ways to combine a person’s brain activity with virtual reality to create a kind of VR lullaby machine.
Gaming

Google says Stadia is not Netflix for games, more like Xbox Live Gold or PS Plus

The Director of Product for Google Stadia took to Reddit for an AMA. Across his many responses, he explained plans for future mobile device support, free monthly games, why developers should create for Stadia over home consoles.
Gaming

Southwest Airlines gave every passenger on this flight a free Nintendo Switch

Southwest Airlines and Nintendo have partnered for a new sweepstakes, and they kicked off the promotion by giving every passenger on a lucky flight to San Diego a free Nintendo Switch.
News

Change from within: How the CTA could bring diversity to the tech industry

With a sea of white, male faces as homogeneous as Wonder Bread, tech has an inclusivity problem -- and the trade group behind CES has answers. This week, it unveiled a variety of new initiatives and policies to foster diversity.