Samsung Reportedly Poaches Apple's Siri Expert To Lead A New AI Team

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According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple has lost a key member of its AI team to rival Samsung. Dr. Murat Akbacak's LinkedIn profile indicates he is still the Head of Contextual and Conversational AI for Apple’s Siri team, having served at that position for nearly a decade. If Gurman's information is accurate, however, he will now be responsible for leading Samsung’s newly formed North America AI Center.

Dr. Akbacak’s LinkedIn profile states that he’s a “distinguished expert and technology leader in artificial intelligence, specializing in human-machine interaction, personal digital assistants, and conversational AI.” His bona fides go beyond just working at Apple, as he has authored peer-reviewed papers, patents, and has worked as a reviewer for journals of speech and language processing. It's an impressive resume for sure.

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Samsung’s new AI center will be a combination of the smartphone maker’s research centers based in Toronto, Canada and Mountain View, California. According to Gurman this effort is being undertaken to “improve operations and increase efficiency.” This information comes from an apparent internal memo that Gurman and gang viewed.

It’s interesting to see Samsung get so aggressive in the AI space. The company has access to Google’s Gemini to power its phones and could easily just rely on that as an AI solution for its devices. So, it seems as if the company has designs on having its own custom integrations. However, it did attempt an AI assistant of its own in the past (Bixby), which didn’t exactly set the world on fire.

It could be that adding Dr. Akbacak can change the company’s fortunes in this space as smartphone makers look for ways to get people to upgrade more often. Time will tell just how important of an addition he is to Samsung’s North America AI Center.