Siri's creators have come up with a much more powerful AI

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David Cornish

"Siri - download your replacement, Viv."

It's an instruction you'll likely carry out when Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer - the original creators of Siri - release their new personal assistant app, Viv.

Kittlaus and Cheyer developed Siri at the Stanford Research Institute back in 2007, selling the system to Apple in 2010. The new AI - which isn't owned by Apple - has been in development for much, much longer, with work first starting on the system in 2003. It's apparently so sophisticated that both Google and Facebook have tried (and failed) to buy it.

What makes Viv more useful (and powerful) than Siri is its sponsored_longform with third-party apps: by integrating with services such as Uber or a pizza delivery company, you'll be able to use Viv like a proper personal assistant, ordering a cab or 12-inch pizza without pressing a single button on your phone. While Siri would find the relevant phone number or open an app for you to interact with, Viv will do all the 'thinking' for you. 

"By working with data from movie-ticket vendors, it can understand the multitude of ways people can ask it to buy movie tickets," explains the Washington Post, the only publication to have used Viv so far. "It can look up showtimes and, on its own, suggest entertainment alternatives from other vendors if the desired showing is sold out. And it can compare prices and then buy the tickets, along with making a restaurant reservation beforehand. If the user changes her mind, the assistant can take care of the cancellations and let her know it's done."

It's a system that Kittlaus and Cheyer had originally intended Siri to use, but that Apple stripped out of the AI in order to make it simpler, more streamlined. The more groups that parter with Viv, the smarter it'll become.

We'll find out more when Viv is demonstrated to the public for the first time on 9 May. Until then, we'll have to stick to using our smartphones like unintelligent peasants.

[Via: Washington Post]


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