UK artificial intelligence start-up VocalIQ acquired by Apple

Purchase of University of Cambridge spin-out will help software giant to further develop its Siri virtual assistant

Speech technology start-up VocalIQ, a University of Cambridge spin-out, has been acquired by Apple – the third UK business to be purchased by the software giant this year.

Founded in 2014 by Blaise Thompson, VocalIQ has created an alternative programming interface (API) which provides conversational interfaces to any device; allowing you to talk naturally in your own applications.

Apple intends to use the company’s speech processing technology to “take Siri to the next level” as it looks to compete against the likes of Cortana and Amazon’s Alexa for the top virtual assistant.

VocalIQ will remain based in Cambridge even after the company’s acquisition. In a case study interview with, Thompson said Cambridge was a great place to start a business as “there is a huge amount of support for any new business starting here such as venture capital and angel funding, and incredibly talented people willing to be advisers.”



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