Apple’s Siri to Get New Languages: Russian, Japanese, Arabic and More
If Apple is trying to keep their latest Siri development project under wraps, we can’t say it’s working too well. Ever since Apple introduced its Siri technology in iOS 5, it has constantly worked to improve its capabilities and efficiency. Siri has become one of the favorite virtual assistants on the market because of its abilities to work on complex tasks. However, Apple has always drew criticism for its lack of language compatibility.
In a recent set of job listings found on Apple’s website, it appears that Siri will see localization outside of its current market. The company is looking to hire native speakers of the languages in flourishing markets, such as Brazil and Russia.
The team is looking for “Siri Language Engineers” who are fluent in Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Danish, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, and Russian. None of these languages are currently supported by Siri, so it would be a ground breaking move on Apple’s part.
In addition to these positions, Apple is also looking to improve the languages it already has developed. Positions for those fluent in Australian and British English, Cantonese, and Japanese are also available on Apple’s “Jobs for Apple” page.
The job positions ask for native speakers as opposed to people who are fluent, because they’re looking to make Siri’s speech as natural as possible. This requires Siri to learn colloquialisms from all its languages, to make its speech flow smoothly.
MacRumors uncovered these listings, posted between June 10th and June 19th. Most of the positions require employees to have strong skills in software development, in addition to experience in speech recognition and synthesis, among other skills.
Apple is looking for these Siri Language Engineers to revolutionize Siri’s existing technologies. Employees must understand how to develop a natural language processing code, and to provide input on new features directed at target markets.
This hints that location-specific Siri resources will be rolling out in a later iOS update. Siri has already made headlines this year with its latest iOS update, iOS 8, where it will come preloaded with integrated smart home commands. iOS 8 comes out later in 2014.