Apple reportedly working on a rival to Amazon's Echo

It's also apparently going to open up Siri to third-party developers.


While much of Silicon Valley has been duking it out with each other in the artificial intelligence wars, Apple has been strangely silent. But it might not be for much longer. The Information has just reported that Apple is working on two bold new moves to broaden its AI strategy. First, the Cupertino firm will supposedly open up Siri to third-party developers, so that the voice assistant can be used with anyone's apps, not just Apple's own. More interestingly, however, Apple is also apparently working on a smart Bluetooth speaker not unlike Amazon's Echo or Google Home. It'll have a microphone and is supposedly Siri-powered, so you'd be able to use it to turn on music, get headlines or do a variety of other tasks, like turning on the lights. According to a source for The Information, Apple has been working on this device long before the Echo launched last year.

Artificial intelligence has been a focus for Apple's rivals for quite awhile now; Google, Facebook, Amazon and even Microsoft have invested heavily in AI to improve the quality of digital assistants (which are sometimes referred to as bots). Siri, on the other hand, has remained fairly stagnant and limited in scope when compared to the competition. There's no official word from Apple on how much more it plans to invest in AI, but we're betting we'll hear more about it at Apple's WWDC event in a couple of weeks.