The creators of Siri said they have come up with their version of a personal digital assistant – call it Viv – which they claim is far more capable than any of its peers, including Siri, The Washington Post reported.
The Viv development team evidently found it a bit stifling with the way Apple evidently positioned Siri. In fact, almost a third of the team that had joined Apple post the acquisition of Siri by the Cupertino giant have since left the company to pursue their own dreams in the AI sphere. And that has a lot to do with how they envisioned Siri to perform in the first place compared to Apple’s own vision with the digital assistant.
Interestingly, Viv’s functionality has quite some similarity with the way Amazon’s Alexa platform behaves, which includes its integration directly with third-party services. And the Viv team said they have already made Viv related to 50 services as of now, which includes the likes of Uber, FTB or Grubhub.
The results of such close integration with other services are impressive indeed, as demoed by the Viv development team themselves when they asked Viv to order pizzas. In fact, Viv asked back during the process if they’d like to have any toppings. After having taken into account all the individual requests and a few more questions and answers later, four pizzas indeed get delivered to the Viv team’s office address.
What is also significant is the way the entire task has been pulled off which did not require anyone to make any calls or make any text input into any apps and such. The whole operation was accomplished via spoken words and that too the way human interacts with each other. In fact, it is this that Kittlaus said they had always visioned a personal digital assistant should be like, ability to pick up what exactly is needed by their human masters.
Similarly, Viv can be asked to book a cab via Uber or order meals with Grubhub and so on. In the process, Viv has also been designed to ask back to establish exactly what is required and act accordingly.
The latest development also comes at a time when the world’s biggest tech companies have suddenly woken up to the need to have personal digital assistants to help their users with simple tasks, search things on the web or chip in with daily chores that are often monotonous or repetitive. Towards that, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Google Now from of course Google or Alexa from Amazon all aim to achieve that though the approach so far has been along somewhat along pre-meditated lines.
However, Kittlaus said they intend to break that with the Viv which is designed to respond to even unexpected situations as well. As of now, Viv will be demoed at the Disrupt NY 2016 event scheduled next week.
Meanwhile, Both Google and Facebook are known to have evinced active interest in buying Viv though nothing much has progressed on that.
As of now there are a lot of questions that need answers. For instance, we don’t know yet how or when it’s going to be made available to consumers at large, whether it will be tied up to any platform like Windows, Android, iOS or will be platform agnostic and so on. Hope we get to it soon enough.