Samsung takes over AI pioneer and maker of Apple’s Siri

Samsung phoneImage copyright
AFP

Samsung has stepped up its focus on artificial intelligence (AI) by taking over Viv, a digital assistant developed by the maker of Apple’s Siri.

The acquisition comes just days after Google launched its new Pixel phone which also puts a strong focus on an AI digital assistance function.

Amazon and Microsoft are also making a push into getting computers to learn and respond like human beings.

Samsung has recently seen its image battered by the global Note 7 recall.

The company plans to use Viv in its phones, televisions and a wide range of other devices.

The deal showed Samsung’s “commitment to virtual personal assistants and is part of the company’s broader vision to deliver an AI-based open ecosystem across all of its devices and services,” the South Korean tech giant said in a statement.

“With the rise of AI, consumers now desire an interaction with technology that is conversational, personalised and contextual – an experience that fits seamlessly within their everyday lives,” the firm added.

AI boom

According to Viv Labs chief executive Dag Kittlaus, the new AI assistant’s mission is to “breathe life into inanimate objects”.

Mr Kittlaus was behind developing Siri, the digital assistant bought by Apple in 2010. He remained with Apple until he left in 2012 when he began working on Viv.

“We see a future that is decidedly beyond apps, where you can get what you need quickly and easily no matter where you are, or what device you are near,” he said.

Earlier this week, Google launched a number of new devices that also place a virtual assistant at the heart of their functionality.

The AI technology in the Google smartphones and voice-activated speakers is one step ahead of Apple’s Siri in that they can hold a conversation, in which one question or command builds on the last, rather than dealing with each request in isolation.

Retail and technology giant Amazon’s also has an AI-driven device on the market.

The company’s Echo speaker can answer questions, control other internet-connected devices, build shopping lists and link in to dozens of third-party services like Spotify, Uber or BBC News.



comments powered by Disqus