Apple has been snapping up artificial intelligence (AI) experts, and is trying to hire at least 86 employees with expertise in the field of machine learning.
Reuters reported that numerous sources and a review of recruitment sites indicate that the company is hiring people from PhD programmes, and has posted a host of job listings and generally expanded its work on AI projects.
Many of the positions Apple is looking to fill are based around software, indicating that Apple's plans for AI, at least in the short term, are around building out the capabilities if Siri.
Improving the functionality and expanding the scope of Siri could help Apple keep its virtual assistant competitive with Microsoft's Cortana which is embedded into the recently released Windows 10 operating system.
Apple will also need to fend of competition from Facebook, which recently revealed M for Facebook Messenger.
Unlike other virtual assistants, M can process product orders and use a combination of machine learning and human assistance to complete tasks that its rivals are unable to do.
The development of AI and machine learning makes heavy use of data, but Apple's stringent privacy policies on the access and use of customer data could mean that the AI projects conflict with its brand ideals and policies.
However, if Apple can create useful and intelligent machine learning and AI technologies without compromising its privacy ideals, it could prompt questions as to why companies like Facebook and Google need deeper access to user information.
V3 contacted Apple for comment on its AI strategy but the company has yet to respond.
Apple is expected to reveal a new iPhone and other products on 9 September, and more information about the company's strategy could come to light.
Apple's expansion of its AI work may worry former co-founder Steve Wozniak, who is concerned that AI robots will make humans their pets.
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