Viv, the New Virtual Assistant Built by Siri’s Creators

The Washington Post reports that the creators behind Siri, Apple’s personal assistant found on the iPhone, iPad, and hopefully soon the Mac, have developed a new AI-based technology they call Viv, and it supposedly does way more than Siri ever will/has.

Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer, the minds behind Siri, claim that Viv is what they wanted Siri to ultimately be. They began developing Apple’s virtual assistant with the vision they have for Viv, however it soon was intensely simplified by Apple to make the experience easier for the average consumer. And for this reason, one third of the team working behind Siri left the project in favor of Viv, something that’s been in development since 2003 according to the WSJ.

Viv is reportedly more complex than Siri. It has capabilities only Apple’s AI bot could dream of. For example, ordering a pizza with multiple questions in the statement asked can return an intelligent response to the user and complete the request, all without ever typing anything in or downloading a third-party app.

“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.

By integrating closely with third-party apps, Viv can accomplish more than Siri ever has been able to. A total of 50 apps offer functionality to Viv according to the WSJ, like SeatGuru, Zocdoc, Grubhub, FTD, and Ivee. A phrase such as “Get me a car” or “Pick me up from here” could get you an Uber if the integration is close enough. However, it’s definitely possible with the technology built inside Viv.

The official unveiling of Viv is reportedly taking place on Monday at a “major industry conference.” We’ll have full coverage when that takes place here on MBEDDED.

Source: 9to5Mac