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Siri creators preparing to showcase a new open platform AI

Vivi Labs, which was co-founded by creators of the Siri virtual assistant, is preparing to showcase its next generation AI assistant, called Viv, on Monday.

Published onMay 5, 2016


Being Android enthusiasts, we don’t spend much time playing around with Siri, but we may all get to make use of the virtual assistant’s successor. According to The Washington Post, Viv Labs, which was co-founded by Siri creators Dag Kittlaus, Adam Cheyer and Chris Brigham, is preparing to showcase its next generation AI assistant on Monday.

The project has been more than three years in the making, and unlike some other assistant platforms, it is planned as an open project that will work across multiple platforms. Although according to the report, Google and Facebook have already tried to acquire the company, so things might change in the future. What’s particularly interesting about Vivi Labs’ vision is that the company is looking to bypass the traditional way that consumers access information, opting for direct integration with services rather than simply offering up suggestions.

“Right now, the main conduits to a consumer are owned by Google and Apple, … My job is to get my restaurants in front of people. This gives us a new route.”

As well as offering up familiar voice activated search features, Viv, as the AI platform is known, taps directly into a number of other popular services provided by third-party companies. Currently, Viv links to apps and services including Uber, FTD, SeatGuru, and GrubHub, so users can directly ask the assistant to order a taxi, for example. The AI can also understand more complicated requests. The report gives an example of ordering a pizza, where Viv was able to understand requests for different toppings and a specific restaurant location. In total, there are already 50 different apps and services integrated into Viv, and this will likely only expand over time.

Integration with other services was originally worked on for Siri, but this feature was stripped out after Apple purchased the platform. We’ve also seen similar features offered by Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, which communicates directly with other services. Viv seems to be the AI assistant that the developers originally wanted to create all of those years ago, and all will be unveiled on Monday.

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