Samsung snatches up Viv, the new AI assistant built by Siri’s creators

Siri may have celebrated five years since its iPhone 4s debut this week, but Apple didn’t rush to acquire Viv, the follow-up AI assistant created by Siri’s makers.

Instead, Samsung snapped up Viv for an undisclosed amount.


Viv was created by Dag Kittlaus, Adam Cheyer and Chris Brigham, who started work on the smart assistant back in 2012. Viv is able to handle more complex spoken-word queries than Siri. It also possesses what is referred to as “dynamic program generation,” which means it is capable of writing its own code to accomplish new tasks.

Viv grows and learns from the collective knowledge of its user base, and was designed to deal with complicated queries like “Get me a ticket to the cheapest flight from SFO to Charles de Gaulle on July 2, with a return flight the following Monday” or “On the way to my brother’s house, I need to pick up some cheap wine that goes well with lasagna.”

VIV was first shown off in a live demo at TechCrunch’s Disrupt NY conference earlier this year.

While Google is currently leading on artificial intelligence, Apple has been investing more money in so-called “machine learning” technology in the last couple of years.

Siri has also become a much larger part of the Apple ecosystem, having arrived on macOS Sierra and Apple TV. And rumors point to the possibility of a standalone Siri device at some point.

Samsung, too, has been quietly acquiring AI companies. In 2014, the company purchased SmartThings for around $200 million to help with its “Internet of Things” smart devices ambitions.

Source: TechCrunch