If you’ve ever felt that Apple wasn’t listening to your complaints about “intelligent assistant” Siri, good news: The company is ready to hire someone to gather public comments and present them — along with recommended fixes — to its leadership team. Working as an engineering program manager, the new employee will also corral Siri engineers to support Apple’s marketing efforts, enabling the assistant to play a more frequent and positive role in company messaging.
The Siri Social Media Analysis & Marketing Production position was quietly posted on Apple’s Jobs mini-site this month, suggesting two things: first, that the company’s executive team is going to more actively address Siri complaints, and second, that personally aggregating all the issues and formulating solutions is too time-consuming for Siri head John Giannandrea, who now leads all of the company’s machine learning and AI strategy efforts.
Given Siri’s troubled history, it’s not surprising to learn that dealing with all of the commentary will be a full-time job. The lucky new hire will get to determine “the world zeitgeist sentiment of Siri” by canvassing “social media, news media, and other sources of product feedback about tech products,” distilling comments into clear summaries for both Apple executives and Siri teams. In some cases, the reports will lead to changes in Siri, while in others the employee will push for marketing and knowledgebase updates “to address relevant user confusion and concerns.”
Interestingly, the job posting notes the employee will be able to “drive rapid-response solutions” to “Siri issues that are going viral or otherwise trending,” presumably to head off PR headaches like that arising from Apple’s tardy response to the “Facepalm” privacy bug, which impacted FaceTime users. Despite flagging the issue directly to Apple’s customer service, engineering, and legal teams, a mother and son team only saw Apple move after the issue picked up traction on social media.
The company might be learning from its mistakes in that regard. One of the new employee’s responsibilities will be to “communicate analysis on how Apple actions affected product perception to validate strategies or adjust them for the future,” which hopefully will enable the individual to provide a key piece of obvious feedback: When an issue has been reported directly to your customer service or engineering teams, don’t wait until it blows up on social media to address it.
Apple is looking for a candidate with at least a bachelor’s degree, ideally either in communications or computer science, with experience working on a digital assistant, performing sentiment analysis, and using online media and social media analysis tools. The employee will get the opportunity to work cross-functionally across multiple groups, including Marketing, Evangelism, and Apple Product Documentation, as well as Siri’s engineering and editorial teams.