Photo: Bill Stasior
Apple has poached William Stasior from Amazon to lead Siri, its voice-activated personal assistant software, Kara Swisher at All Things D reports.This is a big hire, and Swisher thinks it means Apple will dive further into disintermediating Google’s search business on iOS devices.
At Amazon, Stasior was the CEO of A9, which is Amazon’s search engine. Stasior has been running A9 since 2006 when Udi Manber left A9 to go work at Google. Manber now runs Google’s search business.
Siri has been a flop for Apple. It is supposed to be a revolutionary new interface for users that gradually decreases their need for traditional web searching. But, Apple still calls Siri a “beta” product for good reason. It struggles to understand what people are asking it. It is slow to respond and it rarely provides truly useful answers.
Siri is good for a very narrow set of uses like asking for directions, or setting an alarm.
Stasior’s mission is to improve Siri to make it useful so people can get good answers to tough questions. If Apple really wants to fight back against Google and Android, the smartest thing it can do is build a better more natural version of web search. Siri, if done well, could do just that.
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