Samsung Will Acquire AI Specialist Viv To Take On Siri And Cortana

Samsung will acquire artificial intelligence (AI) platform Viv in a bid to take on the likes of Microsoft’s Cortana and Apple’s Siri virtual assistants.

The Viv AI system was created by Dag Kittlaus, Adam Cheyer and Chris Brigham who all created Siri before Apple snapped it up in 2010. This means Samsung has the opportunity to gain an insight into the programming behind Siri, and gives it a route into AI tech for its smartphones and tablets; an area it has not been prolific in when compared to the likes of Google and Facebook.

Aiming Viv at developers

Samsung has plans to use the Viv platform as a means for third-party developers to create AI-based apps and services for its mobile devices, with the goal to create an ecosystem of smart software, as opposed to a standalone AI virtual assistant.

“Unlike other existing AI-based services, Viv has a sophisticated natural language understanding, machine learning capabilities and strategic partnerships that will enrich a broader service ecosystem,” said Injong Rhee, CTO of the mobile communications business at Samsung Electronics.

“Viv was built with both consumers and developers in mind. This dual focus is also what attracted us to Viv as an ideal candidate to integrate with Samsung home appliances, wearables and more, as the paradigm of how we interact with technology shifts to intelligent interfaces and voice control.”

Samsung could throw a metaphorical cat among the pigeons when it comes to smartphone-based AI tech, as the Viv platform specialises in interconnectivity with other apps and services, something the likes of Siri have not embraced until quite recently.

With more access to different information, Viv has the potential to enable more natural and conversational and informed responses to queries posed at it AI system.

Another standout feature is Viv’s ability to write its own code to complete tasks, through using a process called ‘dynamic program generation’. This technique, which is used in more advanced AI systems, effectively allows Viv to handle tasks asked of it on the fly, rather than being reliant on pre-programmed responses.

With Google Assistant finding its way into its new Pixel smartphones, it is likely Samsung has a few AI tricks up its sleeve once it completes the Viv acquisition.

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Roland Moore-Colyer

As News Editor of Silicon UK, Roland keeps a keen eye on the daily tech news coverage for the site, while also focusing on stories around cyber security, public sector IT, innovation, AI, and gadgets.

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