If you keep up with the Apple news these days, then you've probably heard that services are the future growth area for the company. You've probably heard it everywhere and often, including here. It is here the company projects to generate the extra revenue that iPhone used to have covered before the smartphone market as a whole resigned. Not even the mighty iPhone is immune to it, as we finally saw last quarter.
So what has an AI voice start to do with services? Everything. AI and machine learning are the heart of modern service organizer architecture. How does Amazon know what to recommend? How does Netflix know which ones to promote? How does Spotify create its playlists and recommend new artists? You guessed it.
Apple does this already in many areas, of course. For example, they also use AI and machine learning for recommendations and radio station setups in Apple Music. They use it in Apple News to show stories to you based on your preferences. We also see it in the App Store in recommendations and searches. All that said, AI and machine learning have never been seen as strengths on Apple.
Nowhere is Apple's deficiencies in AI and machine learning more obvious than when it comes to Siri. While it can be argued that Siri has improved in some ways over the years, there is still much to be desired. The addition of Siri Shortcuts in iOS1
When you consider that Amazon and Google are two of Apple's biggest competitors in this new service landscape, the shortcomings of Siri voice technology are a problem. They are both more effective in delivering value and running more use of their services using speech based AI. Apple has to figure out a way to bridge this big gap. THIS is why the Pullstring acquisition is so important to Apple.
Yes, pulley is best known for use in toys, but they are not toys. They specialized in providing effective and engaging AI-based speech technology for talking toys, such as Hello Barbie. But if you look at the Pullstring website, you can see that their expertise goes well beyond toys. Lately, they have also provided voice mail for Amazon Alexa, Google Home and other platforms covering all types of applications. This is exactly the kind of expertise Apple needs to bring home right now.
For me, Apple marketing John Giannandrea is his executive team as S senior vice president of machine learning and AI Strategy, showing that the company finally takes AI and machine learning as seriously as they should. Again, if their long-term future profits and growth come from services, they need to quickly improve in those areas so it's time. I see Apple's acquisition of Pullstring as another extension of this. They need to stop talking about making Siri better and actually doing it, and now they have what seems to be the right one for that job.