Back in 2011, Apple announced its flagship for the year, iPhone 4S. While the device came with a faster processor and a better camera than its previous generations, the highlight of the device was an intelligent virtual assistant named Siri. This was the first time a smartphone company incorporated an intelligent assistant on their devices and naturally, the feature was an instant hit.
However, Apple was not behind Siri. Dag Kittlaus, Adam Cheyner and Chris Brigham were the three main people who were responsible for the development of this amazing virtual assistant. The Cupertino giant then bought this company for around $200 million.
After working for Apple for some time, these founders started another company called Viv Labs which aimed to create the next generation version of the intelligent Siri. According to them, Siri was just one chapter of the story and they have been working on something much bigger and better than Siri in the past two years.
While talking to Wired, Kittlaus said that the company has been working independently of Apple on their own next step.
While Siri is one of the intelligent virtual assistants out there, it still has a lot of limitations. Siri cannot answer complex questions like what is the population of the city that George Washington lived in or even book plane tickets for you. It simply brings out search results for these questions which may not be what you were looking for.
The new virtual assistant that Viv Labs is working on called Viv aims to solve this problem. According to the company, Viv will be much smarter and capable than Siri and will be able to overcome all the existing limitations of virtual assistants. It would be an advanced AI that teaches itself, learns from personal preferences, answers almost every question and even perform complex functions that you ask it to do.
Unlike Siri, the company plans to incorporate this AI into every device possible. The founders realized that Siri had become less capable in 2014 than 2010 when it was independent and hence, this time the company does not intend to be tied to a single hardware manufacturer.
To solve a problem or to perform a task, Viv breaks down the question into several parts. It can perform or carry out operations even before you ask it to do.
For example, if you say, “On the way to my brother’s house, I need to pick up some cheap wine that goes well with lasagna.”
Viv will break down this info as ‘Brother is a relation’, ‘Lasagna is a food’, and ‘Home is a type of address’. Using this break down, it will find out cheap wine stores on the way to user’s brother’s house in less than 1/20th of a second.
The company has not yet revealed when it will release a final version of the AI in the market, but we hope that it happens soon.
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