Amazon is hiring 4x more people for Alexa than Apple is for Siri

8 months ago by Joshua Fruhlinger in Trends

Last week, we told you that Apple is aggressively hiring Siri engineers in an effort to bring its heavily criticized personal assistant AI technology up to par with competitors Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Not only does Apple have a tough task ahead of itself, but Amazon ($NASDAQ:AMZN) is also very busy hiring talent for its Alexa virtual assistant. In fact, Amazon is currently hiring 598 Alexa-focused positions. Compared to Apple's 161 Siri positions, it's easy to see one of the major reasons that Amazon is ahead in the AI assistant game.

Note that spike in the summer of 2017 - that's right after Apple announced the HomePod, its first Siri-enabled speaker and clear Amazon Echo (Amazon's Alexa-enabled speaker) competitor.

Of the 598 Alexa-based positions at Amazon posted today, 328 are located at the company's headquarters in Seattle. That's a much lower ratio (54%) than the 125 out of 161 (78%) that Apple is hiring for at its Santa Clara Valley headquarters.

Location

Unique ID (Count)

Seattle, WA, US

328

Sunnyvale, CA, US

90

Cambridge, MA, US

59

Palo Alto, CA, US

22

Santa Barbara, CA, US

15

Irvine, CA, US

15

East Palo Alto, CA, US

12

Boston, MA, US

12

Bellevue, WA, US

12

Pittsburgh, PA, US

10

Santa Cruz, CA, US

6

San Francisco, CA, US

5

Vancouver, BC, CA

4

Virtual, US

3

Toronto, ON, CA

2

Gdansk, PL

2

Chennai, TN, IN

1

The difference in location spread is interesting here. While Apple appears to be recruiting Engineers in a cluster at its Santa Clara headquarters to put their heads down and fix Siri, Amazon's Alexa-focused job openings span a more diverse set of specialties and locations.

Apple may be scrambling to engineer and build, but Amazon appears to be deep in its marketing and sales strategic phases for Alexa. When one looks at the number of Alexa-equipped products, from lighting systems to 3rd-party speakers, and compare that to the small number of Siri-equipped products outside of Apple's own product set, it's clear where the two companies are at in their digital assitant lifespans, relatively.

Consider this: Amazon already sells five iterations of its Echo smart speaker devices. Until last month's introduction of the HomePod, Apple had no stand-alone Siri home products on the market. When it comes to third-party devices, Alexa is already at home in dozens of devices while Siri is off to a slow start with relatively minor appearances in a few car dashboards.

In short, Apple is still trying to get Siri to stand on her own two feet while Amazon is busy sending Alexa off into the workforce.

Apple is still trying to get Siri to stand on her own two feet while Amazon is busy sending Alexa off into the workforce

But don't assume that Amazon is simply resting on its laurels and marketing Alexa. Of the 598 openings, 291 (49%) contain the word "Engineer" in their titles. These openings include a large number of Software Development Engineers across everything from Voice Services, to Alexa Automotive, to Alexa for Business.

Top top-10 most-common Alexa engineering openings as of today are listed below:

Title

Unique ID (Count)

Software Development Engineer, Amazon Alexa

16

Software Development Engineer II - Alexa Deep Product Knowledge

14

Software Development Engineer - Alexa Voice Service

10

Software Development Engineer, Alexa

10

Software Development Engineer, Alexa Automotive

8

Software Development Engineer, AWS Alexa for Business

6

Software Engineer - Alexa

6

Software Development Engineer - Alexa Smart Home

6

Software Development Engineer – Alexa Machine Learning Platform

6

Software Development Engineer - Amazon Alexa

5

Outside of Engineers, Amazon is hiring Software Development Managers, Sr. Solutions Architects, Data Scientists, and, yes, Product Marketing Managers.

We'll keep an eye on these digital-assistant hiring trends as the various tech giants continue to push AI assistants into the future. Next up: Google Assistant.

Joshua Fruhlinger

Joshua has been writing about technology, lifestyle, and business for over 20 years. He's one of the original writers and editors for Engadget, and still writes a...

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