The creators of Siri are preparing to introduce a new AI assistant on Monday, reports The Washington Post. It’s called ‘Viv,’ and it’s far more advanced than Siri, capable of handling complex tasks like purchasing movie tickets or ordering pizza, without the need to switch between apps or other human interaction.
Unlike most virtual assistants today, which can understand precise queries and issue scripted responses, Viv can imitate “the spontaneity and knowledge base of a human assistant.” So with this technology, and third-party app integration from the likes of Uber and Grubhub, Viv is expected to impress next week.
“Get me a pizza from Pizz’a Chicago near my office,” one of the engineers said into his smartphone. It was their first real test of Viv, the artificial-intelligence technology that the team had been quietly building for more than year. Everyone was a little nervous. Then, a text from Viv piped up: “Would you like toppings with that?”
The engineers, eight in all, started jumping in: “Pepperoni.” “Half cheese.” “Caesar salad.” Emboldened by the result, they peppered Viv with more commands: Add more toppings. Remove toppings. Change medium size to large.
About 40 minutes later — and after a few hiccups when Viv confused the office address — a Pizz’a Chicago driver showed up with four made-to-order pizzas.
The now 4-year-old stealthy startup is made up of Siri co-founders Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer, at least a third of the original Siri team, and other elite AI alum. Their goal is to “take the way humans have naturally interacted with each other for thousands of years and apply that to the way they interact with services.”
Both Facebook and Google have made offers to buy the company.
Source: The Washington Post