Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is looking for “Siri Writer/Editor” in Chinese and Japanese to improve its virtual personal assistant tool in Asian countries. The tech giant posted jobs at its “Jobs At Apple” page. According to the job summary, Apple is looking for individuals who are native speakers of Chinese or Japanese. The candidates must have a direct exposure to local culture over a sustained period. Improving Siri has become increasingly important for Apple given the company’s recent deals with China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE:CHL) (HKG:0941) and NTT Docomo Inc (NYSE:DCM) (TYO:9437) to sell iPhones.

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Apple gets serious about Siri in Asia

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) says that the candidate should be aware of the local culture, have excellent command over the language and should possess excellent writing skills. Of course, that’s necessary to craft culturally appropriate dialog in Chinese and Japanese. Siri has proved to be a really good virtual assistant in English-speaking countries. But it’s nothing more than a bloatware in Asian countries, as it lacks a cultural connection. Apple is hiring the Siri writers and editors to identify opportunities for cultural enhancements and improve the virtual assistant’s capabilities to local flavor.

In Mainland China, Taiwan and other East Asian countries, Siri is able to perform only basic functions like call a friend, search Wikipedia or open apps. But if you initiate a conversation or ask a question in Chinese or Japanese, it usually becomes unresponsive. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has constantly tweaked these versions of Siri over the past few years, but it still isn’t as good in China and Japan as it’s in the U.S or UK. Moreover, it doesn’t have access to local directories in Mainland China.

Microsoft to rival Apple’s Siri

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is improving its virtual assistant, Microsoft Corporation is expected to launch Cortana, a rival to Siri, as early as April this year. According to rumors, the Redmond-based company’s voice-activated personal assistant is likely to debut on Lumia smartphone as part of the Windows Phone platform. It will be integrated with Bing. Microsoft Corporation may expand its tool to iPhones later. Users can activate Cortana by saying, “Bing tell me….”

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock fell 0.72% to $547.61 at 10:12 AM EST.