Dag Kittlaus, a former Apple employee and one of the co-founders of personal assistant Siri just demonstrated ‘Viv’ the future of artificial intelligence at the Disrupt NY 2016 event. Basically, Viv is a voice-based virtual assistant, just like Siri, Google Now and Cortana but much more evolved. It can not only understand natural language and complex commands, but also extend its functionality with the integration of third-party services.
Kittlaus offered a 20-minute demo onstage, giving a glimpse at the new and potentially revolutionary artificial intelligence system that he has been working on along with his team at Viv labs. With a goal to build a better version of Siri, Viv can do multitude of things, instead of simply shuffling queries on the basic web search.
Similar to Siri, even Viv is based on conversational and smart layer that allows users to interact with different services. However, Viv takes a step further with a more personal approach. More importantly, it also comes with a developer platform that allows integrating more services. In the demo, Viv was able to handle a bunch of complex requests, which also includes connecting with third-party merchants for booking reservations and purchasing goods.
While you can ask about weather updates to voice assistants, Viv can understand more complex questions and display accurate results. Few questions asked during the demonstration include “Will it be warmer than 70 degrees near the Golden Gate Bridge after 5PM theday after tomorrow?” and “Was it raining in Seattle three Thursdays ago?”
The working of third-party app integration is something that could be the next big thing after Facebook and Skype Chat Bots that we’ve seen before. While chat bots reply to contextual queries, Viv is voice-powered. Viv could also order flowers via Pro Flowers, send money to someone via Venmo, drill down the search results to book hotels and more.
The team offered the demo on an iPhone but the vision is to have it embedded into various devices including smart home appliances, like we have seen with Alexa Echo. While the team didn’t offer any timeframe for the release, it is working on bringing more developers to add functionality to Viv. Overall it will be interesting to see how Google, Apple and Microsoft respond to Viv.