viv samsung acquisition
/ By Jonathan Hawkins / Samsung / 0 Comments

Samsung v. Siri – Samsung Acquires Viv AI Startup By Same Creators

Do you suffer from Siri envy? If you’re a Samsung user, you might. The Apple or Android question is a polarizing one and most users stick with their preference. Most apps are available on both operating systems and the UE is largely the same … except for Siri. Android’s acquisition of AI Startup VIV could turn that around.


The exciting thing about this news is really twofold. For starters, Google’s voice assistant feature has never been quite as beloved as Siri and Samsung doesn’t own it. It hasn’t caught on in the same way. It’s about to get an upgrade that Samsung can control. Additionally, the buzz on Viv is that it’s next gen Siri.


I don’t want to get too ahead of myself though. Let’s go back to basics and learn what’s up for the future of Android AI.


What We Know About Viv


Viv Labs was co-founded by Dag Kittlaus, Adam Cheyer and Chris Brigham. They’re part of the team behind Siri. After creating the famous Apple personality, they left in 2010 and started Viv.


Android acquired Viv, but is allowing them to operate independently and provide support to Android devices.


Viv is focused on interconnectedness. Siri’s ability to engage with multiple silos of information across several applications and, thereby, connect them is a good example of this concept.


Here’s where things get really interesting, or creepy, depending on your opinion of AI. According to Viv, the AI can write its own code as needed to fill gaps and accomplish tasks. This is the first instance of this kind of tech in AI. Viv calls this ‘dynamic program generation.’


In short, a Viv AI assistant has a brain.


To learn a little more about the vision behind Viv, check out  Siri Is Only The Beginning, and later wrote that there would be a Cambrian Explosion In AI, written by Kittlaus for Tech Crunch.


Samsung Is Making Moves To Differentiate From Google


Anyone with a Samsung phone is probably using a lot of Google services. Though two separate entities, the two cooperate seamlessly enough that one hand washes the other. Samsung may be looking to see other people, or more accurately, spend some time with itself.


As time goes on, the two tech giants are becoming competitive. Samsung will have much more control over its future if it can run its own software independently from Google.


“Our focus is really more device-centric,” said Samsung mobile CTO Injong Rhee explained to Recode. “How do we revolutionize how users interact with our devices and our appliances?”


Samsung will be free to use this tech in all of its products including smart TVs.


Are you ready to have a conversation with your television? The days of searching for the remote could be over soon.


Hear It From The Source


Dag Kittlaus made an announcement on Medium regarding the move. The tone is exciting and energized for the future, which is good news for both Samsung and their users. This guy is truly excited about AI.


Kittlaus’ vision is of AI as a gateway to the rest of the internet.


“Soon, we’ll all have a trusted assistant that is a regular part of our everyday lives. We deeply believe this to be true. This assistant will be as ubiquitous and important as the web browser or the mobile app,” Kittlaus wrote on Medium.


This could attract the cutting edge crowd who thirsts for the latest tech to line up for Samsung. It could have huge crossover appeal to causal smartphone users who would prefer to interact with their phones in a user friendly way. It’s certainly a concrete way to solve the problem of texting while driving and really increases the functionality of a smart device.


I’m personally excited to see the results of this acquisition. Samsung seems to have harnessed a ball of tech fire and will hopefully ride it like a comet.