15:15 GMT24 January 2020
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    Microsoft has hired Bill Stasior, the person who until recently was in charge of the Siri virtual assistant at Apple.

    The move underlines Microsoft’s focus under CEO Satya Nadella on emerging technologies like artificial intelligence – a sphere that is being actively developed by the newly created Artificial Intelligence and Research engineering group. The company added AI to its list of top priorities in its annual report. Last year Microsoft went further in another reorganization that placed some AI teams in the group working on Microsoft’s Azure public cloud.

    Stasior announced his job change by updating his resume on his personal website on Monday. The resume says he’ll be corporate vice president of technology in the office of the chief technology officer, Kevin Scott. The Information reported on the move earlier on Monday.

    “Starting in August, [Stasior] will work to help align technology strategies across the company,” a Microsoft spokesperson wrote in an email to CNBC.

    Stasior was vice president for AI and Siri when he left in May, according to the resume. He had been at Apple since 2012. He said that he expanded the team from 70 engineers to more than 1,100 people and that he “played the leading role in bringing modern machine learning to Siri and Apple.” Apple said in 2018 that Siri was being actively used on more than 500 million devices, and earlier this year the company said that Siri would sound more natural in the forthcoming iOS 13 release. Apple previously made gains in this area through AI work. 

    Stasior also was one of the top executives at Amazon before joining. He previously worked at AltaVista and Oracle. He is likely to replace Javier Soltero, the person who was leading Cortana, Microsoft’s Siri competitor, and left last year.

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    Siri, Artificial Intelligence, artificial, Microsoft
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