Apple has hired Amazon executive William Stasior to run its Siri department, reports Kara Swisher at All Things D. If true, this would mean that Apple was replacing two of the co-founders of Siri, who it had brought on when it acquired the assistant software.
Stasior was working on A9, Amazon’s search and search advertising unit, says Swisher. He has been serving as the CEO and President of A9.com (an independent company, but Amazon subsidiary) since February of 2006. Stasior’s resume says that “A9 provides the core search service, as well as advertising services, and image recognition technologies to Amazon.com and other websites.”
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Prior to founding A9, he led product and engineering for the Search & Navigation team at Amazon. This alls points to the fact that Apple might be looking to beef up Siri’s search capabilities, which should come as no surprise to readers of this site:
Instead of an assistant, Apple is now positioning Siri as a service that you can use to have all kinds of information delivered to you in a relevant format. Sounds a lot like a search engine to me.
Siri co-creator Adam Cheyer has left Apple’s Siri Voice Unit back in September. The co-founder was the second to leave Apple after Dag Kittlaus left post iPhone 4S release last year. Apple acquired their company back in April of 2010 and has since turned it into the Siri voice assistant present in many iOS devices. Presumably, third founder Tom Gruber remains at Apple working on Siri.
Apple CEO Tim Cook gave an interview at the All Things D conference earlier this year where he teased that Siri has “unbelievable potential”. “It’s one of the most popular features of our most popular phone. But there’s more that it can do,” said Cook “And we have a lot of people working on this. And I think you’ll be really pleased with some of the things that you’ll see in the coming months.”
At Apple’s WWDC event in June, Siri got a host of new features including sports score integration, movies, app launching and the ‘Eyes Free’ automobile mode.