Siri’s Last Remaining Co-Founder, Tom Gruber, Departs Apple

Artificial intelligence expert and Siri co-founder Tom Gruber has retired from Apple, becoming the last of Siri’s three co-founders to leave the California technology giant.

Apple has confirmed the departure according to a new report from The Information. Gruber “will be pursuing personal interests in photography and ocean conservation,” reads the report.

Until his departure, Gruber served as the head of Siri’s Advanced Development Group, which has clearly struggled over the years to achieve either parity or a leadership position relative to other AI assistants.

Gruber’s departure comes as the Siri group is seeing a major haul in its leadership under new boss John Giannandrea, formerly Google’s head of AI and search. Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer, with whom Gruber founded the original Siri Inc. before it was bought over by Apple in 2010, left the iPhone maker years ago in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

Siri has been one of Apple’s most persistent and public development challenges over the past decade, having already moved from key executives Scott Forstall to Eddy Cue to Craig Federighi before recently becoming Giannandrea’s responsibility.

Reports have blamed everything from poor strategy to a problematic software infrastructure for the AI assistant’s failings, which contributed to mediocre reviews of the HomePod speaker early this year.

Along with Gruber, head of search Vipul Ved Prakash has also left the company, The Information added.

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