An Apple office near the MIT campus in Boston is focusing on speech technology for Siri, word from industry sources suggests. The sources tell Xconomy
that Apple has assembled a small group of significant people in involved in speech technology, and is working to expand that effort in the Boston area. Online job profiles for the speech team are said to point to the Siri connection.
speculates that Apple could be working to replace the speech recognition technology in Siri, which is currently supplied by Nuance. Some of the people at the Boston Apple office are said
to be ex-Nuance workers, and replacing the relevant code would allow Apple to avoid paying royalties, while simultaneously tailoring recognition to iOS' needs.
Siri is already slated to get a number of enhancements
in iOS 7. Above all is the use of more natural-sounding voices, similar to those used by Google for Now and Maps Navigation. Other improvements will include faster responses, new search sources, and extra options like returning calls and playing voicemail.