Following stinging criticisms of its poorly performing digital assistant, Apple has recently ramped up hiring for its Siri division, the data analysts at Thinknum discovered. Siri-specific hiring is currently said to be at an “all-time high,” with 161 open job listings — a jump of 24 percent in the last month.
Starting in mid-February, shortly after initial HomePod reviews pilloried the speaker’s ability to handle spoken requests, Apple appears to have accelerated its efforts to hire new Siri engineers and managers. Tens of jobs posted in February remain open today, and more than two dozen new Siri jobs were posted in the last two days alone.
“It’s easy to see that this is a concerted effort by Apple to make Siri smart,” said Thinknum’s Joshua Fruhlinger, “or, at least, smarter than she has been.” Fruhlinger noted that it’s “no secret” that Siri is perceived as a laggard compared to Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant, and Microsoft’s Cortana and has been struggling to adapt to home automation tasks. “It’s clear from our hiring data trail that Apple knows where it needs to improve.”
Apple’s job postings site today has well over 100 open positions specifically within the Siri division, including various AI engineers, alongside many others with Siri-related responsibilities. Most are located at the company’s Apple Park campus, with a handful scattered throughout foreign outposts.