Samsung buying Viv, the AI assistant developed by Siri creators

By , Oct 5, 2016

Viv teaser 001

Samsung has agreed to acquire Viv, the next-gen AI assistant that was developed by Siri co-founders Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer. TechCrunch reports that it will continue to operate as an independent company, providing services to Samsung and its platforms.

Viv made numerous headlines earlier this year, when the team demonstrated the power of its assistant. In one scenario, it was able to successfully order a pizza over the Internet customized with toppings from several employees with a few simple voice commands.

Here are some excerpts from Kittlaus’ Medium post regarding the acquisition:

Samsung, as you surely know, is the market leader in smart devices across a wide range of use cases and industries. They ship 500 million devices a year. They also sell more smartphones and TVs than any other company in the world, not to mention a hundred million appliances, and their ambitious Virtual Reality product line. Their product mix naturally fits Viv’s “simplify your interactions through conversation.”

[…] In order for Viv to utilize the incredible scale Samsung offers, and in order to achieve our ultimate goal of redefining the way people interact with the digital landscape, it would be essential for Viv to be available across morethan just Samsung devices. Our vision requires that Viv be everywhere.

Samsung is with us. We share a mutual vision to leapfrog the current state-of-the-art in AI, ushering in a new era.

Viv will live on as an independent subsidiary of Samsung, able to both meaningfully integrate intelligence across a wide variety of products at scale in ways never before seen, and eventually fulfill the vision of the “everywhere assistant” as a major paradigm in its own right.

The move is significant for a few reasons. One, Viv employs a number of former Siri—and thus Apple—team members. Two, AI has become a hot tech topic, and folks who believe Apple has fallen behind in this space are questioning why it didn’t snap Viv up itself.

Things certainly just got a lot more interesting. What do you make of this move by Samsung?

Source: TechCrunch

  • Share:
  • Follow:
  • Jayy

    Nooo, Apple why’d you let them do it….

  • AOGV

    Doesn’t mean anything Cody this is a typical samsung thing to do and it won’t work I’m not surprised in the slightest. is S voice even a thing anymore? help me out cause when I tell Siri to tell me a joke what her response should be is “Samsung”

    • Rowan09

      Lol. S Voice is horrible and since Google is pushing its own assistant, it’s going to be dead on arrival for Samsung. Samsung needs to finally get the balls and make a Tizen device like they were suppose to do years ago, only then will this purchase make sense.

    • Mike

      If Samsung is a joke then why is Apple buying iphone parts from Samsung? Plus this AI might even be for their Samsung Smartthings home device…

      • leart

        becouse of the price .. Apple need those parts, samsung offers the best price probably..

      • AOGV

        dawg what you talkin about I’m talking about the Samsung smartphone business. not their damn tv’s or ssd’s or washing machines who btw explode too.

      • Well you could also ask the question, if Samsung is so corrupt as to openly and repeatedly steal people’s patents and use them in their own devices why does apple (and others) continue to keep using them after suing them time and time again?

        The answer is that Samsung is in a unique position. Turns out there really isn’t any other companies that can build technological products at the scale that samsung can (at least when it comes to certain things). Love them or hate them, they are in a position where everyone kind of needs them.

      • Shadowelite123

        Lol Apple custom designs all their parts. They own nearly all of the iPhones internals. Samsung merely manufactures it.

    • george

      I’m an iPhone user but don’t talk shit about Svoice when Siri is god awful.

      • Rowan09

        Have you used S Voice? Siri is far from horrible, especially with IOS 10. I use it daily while driving with Bluetooth in my car and it’s on point.

      • george

        I don’t use her because her success rate is a joke.

      • Rowan09

        Well you must be the exception because I use Siri while driving with the windows down, running, working out and I have no issues. The early iterations was just bad, but Siri is great now, not excellent, but great.

      • Really?! I wonder if you have some accent that she find hard to understand? I almost never have to repeat something to her.

        Really the only issue I have is the occasional times when Hey Siri doesn’t respond on my Watch.

      • george

        Nope no accent at all.

      • Huh, I guess individual milage varies then.

        Actually if someone from iDB reads this, that would make and interesting poll. How accurate is SIRI for you? (although I bet all the android users on this site would rate it as “She has never once gotten me right”, and I suppose that would be 100% true if you’ve never used her. LOL Oh well…

      • Shadowelite123

        Siri and S voice aren’t even on the same level. Lol who do you think you’re kidding. The Siri hype may have died down a while ago but S voice is a rotting seed compared to Siri

  • Bugs Bunnay

    Looks like things are heating up!

  • askep3

    It’s too bad, wish Apple bought it instead

  • Jamessmooth

    Samsung Viv sounds so much better than “S Voice”. But unless you can ask it how to stop your Note from exploding it’s meh.

  • You’ll get your Pizza; after your Samsung burns down your house.

  • Overall I think this was a great move for Samsung. From what I’ve heard, S Voice could use all the help it can get and it helps get them one step closer to independence from Google’s Iron Grip on Android.

    Although I do wonder why Apple didn’t acquire it. It makes me wonder if VIV would have been a step backwards untimely due to the time required to implement it. Granted SIRI isn’t as advanced as ViV when it comes to natural speech, query complexity or ability to parse multiple commands together, but apple has put years of work into tightly integrating her into iOS, WatchOS, TVOS, and now MacOS. This year’s support for 3rd party developer APIs probable being one of the largest features.

    If Apple acquired ViV it likely would have taken years to re-integrate and maybe Apple assumes that if they spent that time improving SIRI they’d be better off?

    Anyways, an interesting move to be sure!