Renault hires inventor of Apple’s Siri voice assistant to lead AI push

Renault has hired Luc Julia, a global expert in artificial intelligence and one of the inventors of Apple’s Siri voice assistant, as its chief scientific officer.

Julia will oversee R&D of future technologies and innovations such as AI, man-machine interfaces, connectivity, and software at the automaker.

Julia’s “exceptional track record in artificial intelligence, data and object connectivity will be key to accelerating the deployment of our strategy and becoming a tech company that integrates vehicles,” Renault CEO Luca de Meo said in a statement.

Julia, from Toulouse, France, has a degrees in mathematics and computer science from two universities in Paris.

He began his career in 1994 at the Stanford Research Institute International, a U.S.-based non-profit research institute, where he helped to launch Nuance Communications, a world leader in speech recognition, and also co-founded several start-ups in Silicon Valley. 

In 1997, with a friend, he filed the patents for what would later become the voice command computer application Siri, and in 1999, presented “The Assistant,” an early version of the voice assistant. 

In 2010, Julia joined Hewlett-Packard as chief technologist, before moving to Apple a year later to lead the development of Siri. He is recognized as the co-creator of the application. 

In 2012, he was appointed senior vice president and chief technology officer at Samsung Electronics. 

Since 2020, he has been a member of the French Academy of Technologies. 

In the same year, he was awarded the Legion d’Honneur (the highest French order of merit) in recognition of work in the fields of artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction, digital media and other advanced technologies.

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