Flickr user Butz.2013 / CC BY

Apple is making yet another acquisition, making it the second within this week. This time, the Cupertino giant is picking up Ireland-based AI startup Voysis. Voysis works specifically in the speech recognition domain, and develops tech that makes its easier for digital voice assistants to understand a user’s natural language.

No details are available on the acquisition, with Apple issuing its usual statement. “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans”. Seems as if there is an AI bot responding to all ‘acquisition’ related media queries. Anyways.

So Voysis’s technology is based on Wavenets, an AI tech first used by Google’s DeepMind back in 2016. Wavenets is basically an AI method to create a more human-like computer speech experience. What Voysis has been able to achieve, is the compression of this tech to an extent, that it now reportedly acquires just 25MB of memory for the software, once the AI is trained.

According to data available from Crunchbase, Voysis was founded in 2012, and has raised close to $8 million in external funding so far. Its most recent Series A funding came in from Polaris Partners.

While Apple hasn’t made any announcements, it seems clear that the company may have bought out the company to further improve upon Siri. Siri already is among one of the most accurate digital voice assistants out there. But it fails when users from certain geographies with dialects not very common, speak to it. The Voysis acquisition could well be to improve that natural language processing part of Siri.