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Apple's former Siri chief says today's digital assistants still have a long way to go before they can really understand us

Apple's former Siri chief says today's digital assistants still have a long way to go before they can really understand us
Business Insider/Yu Han



Bill Stasior, who previously led Siri's development at Apple, says today's virtual assistants don't deliver on the promise of being able to understand speech as naturally as other people can.




This is one of the biggest areas virtual assistants are likely to improve in the next three to five years.




It's an industry-wide challenge that other companies working on the technology have acknowledged in the past.




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If you've been paying any attention to the announcements Apple and Google made during their recent developers conferences, you probably already know that big improvements are coming to Siri and the Google Assistant.
During its Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month, Apple announced that Siri will be getting a more natural voice that's generated entirely by software when its iOS 13 update for iPhones launches later this year. Google said in May that its digital assistant will be able to understand and process requests up to 10 times faster, and Amazon recently launched a new version of its Alexa-powered Echo Show.
Although digital assistants like Apple's Siri, the Google Assistant, and Amazon's Alexa have advanced quickly in recent years, they still have a long way to go says Bill Stasior, who recently departed Apple to join genetic diagnostics and therapy development firm Avellino Labs as a member of its executive advisory committee. Stasior joined Apple in 2012 and led the team responsible for Siri's development until he left the company in May.
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