Siri, Apple's speech-recognizing personal assistant, seems set to go through some Siri-ous changes. (Sorry, we'll stop now.) Over the weekend Apple advertised 12 different positions relating to Siri. The jobs range from a Speech Operations Engineer responsible for deploying "large scale" server infrastructures to three Siri Software Engineers who will "help build out new areas of expertise for Siri, expanding the product’s capabilities for millions of users."
One of the job posts suggests that Siri is going to expand dramatically, because Apple's looking for a "Siri Integration Engineer" who will "triage and prioritize incoming feature enhancements and functionality regressions that may arise, ensuring that the tickets are appropriately categorized." Essentially this employee will be troubleshooting bigger and better Siri functions as they come online, making sure they integrate with Apple's plans. Though it's a relatively low-level job, needing just a degree in computer science, the fact that it's full-time indicates aggressive growth planned for Siri's capabilities. The employee who ends up filling the Siri Interaction Designer post will have even bigger responsibilities that include building new interactive systems into Siri and extending its "capabilities, knowledge, and intelligence" as well as "helping invent new techniques for conversational interaction." This job will also be part of "building practices, processes, and standards that will become a foundation for design and innovation far into the future."
Apple's job postings are one of the rare windows into the secretive company's future plans because they have to contain relevant future-facing info if they are to recruit the right staff. Earlier this year a lot of fuss was caused by Siri-related job postings that suggested Apple was planning to add more personality to the system and even to bring it to the Mac as well as iOS devices. Siri led the charge for advanced digital assistants on smartphones, inspiring both Samsung and Google to implement their own solutions--albeit with a slightly different mechanism, particularly in the case of Google's pre-emptive Now system. Siri hasn't really advanced much in the last year, apart from gaining the ability to buy movie tickets in the U.S., but now it's clear Apple wants Siri to evolve quickly. Siri's future is definitely international too: Just 10 days ago Apple also posted several different quality assurance jobs relating to Siri's performance in different languages, such as this one for an Italian speaker.
Do you consider this good news? Do you wish Siri was smarter? Or does the idea of talking to your phone still seem odd?
[Image: Flickr user matsuyuki]