Creators of artificial intelligence that powers Apple’s Siri, Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer, showed off their newest creation which has been under development for the past four years. Called Viv, it is the next-generation AI assistant that significantly departures from all other available personal assistants.
Digital personal assistants are one of the highly competitive aspects of the most popular platforms, where companies are making an incredible effort into expanding their abilities. Apple has Siri, which was announced four years ago as part of iOS.
Today you can also find it as part of watchOS and tvOS, with OS X support rumored for this year’s update of Apple’s desktop operating system. The most interesting feature of Siri (which stands for Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface) was and still is a natural language input. However, Siri’s capabilities are limited since this personal assistant turns to the web to provide answers.
Even though this can bring you a lot of useful information, Siri still can’t reach and connect to multiple services to generate solutions. This is exactly where Viv excels.
During a 20-minute demo at Disrupt NYC, Viv provided answers to several complex questions without a single issue. The first question Kittlaus asked was about the current weather, which is probably the most often asked question to any digital assistant.
However, this quickly evolved into a highly specific question of “Will it be warmer than 70-degrees near the Golden Gate bridge, after 5 pm the day after tomorrow?”. After just a couple of seconds of gathering information, Viv was ready with an answer.
The biggest strength of Viv is in the fact that this digital assistant connects to third-party services and then collects information before providing answers.
Another request for Viv during the demo was to send $20 from Kittlaus’ account to another person. This request was powered by integration through a service called Venmo, which specializes in money transfer.
It is understandable that Viv’s future depends on third-party services, which is why its creators are trying to persuade developers to consider integrating their apps and services with this digital assistant.
Another advantage of this technology over Siri and other digital personal assistants can be found in its long-term memory. As opposed to Siri, which doesn’t remember your questions and only slightly learns your habits and needs, Viv can easily embrace follow-up questions.
According to creators of this technology, Viv is going to be further developed to be device agnostic. This means that Viv can be used on your mobile device, or in your car, or even through a smart device in your home.
Many are wondering if Kittlaus and Cheyer are willing to sell this technology, just like they did with Siri. This isn’t surprising since Viv already outperforms each available assistant including Microsoft’s Cortana and Google’s Now.
There are rumors that Google and Facebook already made their bids, as reported by the Washington Post.
The on-stage demo finished without any official information when we can expect to see Viv on different devices, but Kittlaus said that early integration might be coming later this year.