Samsung Reportedly Hires Former Apple Head of Siri AI to Run Its North America AI Division

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Samsung has reportedly pulled off a major coup by hiring a former Apple executive to lead its newly created artificial intelligence (AI) division. As per a report, the South Korea-based tech giant internally announced the hiring of Murat Akbacak who was heading the division responsible for developing conversational and contextual AI for Siri. He will now head Samsung’s North America AI Center, which is said to be created by merging two different AI centres operating in the continent. Notably, Apple also announced several AI-powered capabilities for Siri at the WWDC 2024 on Monday.

Samsung reportedly hires ex-Apple executive

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman cited unnamed people familiar with the matter in a report and claimed that Samsung announced hiring Murat Akbacak internally this week. At the time of writing this, Akbacak’s LinkedIn profile still shows the current designation as Apple’s Head of Conversational and Contextual AI at Siri. Interestingly, if the report’s timeline is to be believed, the former Siri head joined the rival at around the same time Apple held the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2024, where Siri’s AI capabilities became a major talking point.

Akbacak will reportedly lead Samsung’s newly created North America AI Center. The tech giant has recently unified two different AI centres, located in Toronto and Mountain View, California as a singular North American division. As per an internal memo viewed by Bloomberg, the centralised research arm was created to improve operations and boost efficiency.

Reportedly, the same memo mentioned that at Apple, Akbacak was “responsible for defining and executing the strategy for Siri, Apple’s personal digital assistant, focusing on personalisation, contextualisation, and advancements in conversational and multimodal AI.” The Apple executive joined the iPhone maker in January 2015 and served the company for nearly a decade. Notably, the announcement has not been made public yet.

At WWDC 2024, Apple made several AI-related announcements. Siri can now understand natural language and contextual cues in user commands and execute complex tasks. The virtual assistant is also being deeply integrated with several native apps.

The tech giant also unveiled its in-house Apple Intelligence, which is built up of an on-device AI model and a cloud-based AI model that will be powered by the company’s Private Cloud Compute.

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