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Samsung Acquires Viv, the New AI from Siri's Makers

Tim Maytom

Dag Kittlaus, CEO and co-founder of Viv

Dag Kittlaus, CEO and co-founder of Viv



Samsung has acquired Viv, a new AI-powered virtual assistant created by the same team who designed Apple's Siri software. The group of three designers left Apple in the years following Siri's introduction in 2010, and founded Viv in 2012.

Viv has been billed as a more extensible, powerful version of Siri, able to reach across multiple silos of information stored in different apps and services to carry out more complex command chains.

Viv also supposedly boasts a unique breakthrough in program synthesis, and is able to write its own code in order to accomplish new tasks. While various types of software have had similar capabilities in the past, the method Viv uses, called 'dynamic program generation' is different and should enable the digital assistant to understand user intent better, and handle tasks it has never encountered before.

"Unlike other existing AI-based services, Viv has a sophisticated natural language understanding, machine learning capabilities and strategic partnerships that will enrich a broader service ecosystem," said Injong Rhee, chief technical officer of Samsung's mobile communications business.

"Viv was built with both consumers and developers in mind. This dual focus is also what attracted us to Viv as an ideal candidate to integrate with Samsung home appliances, wearables and more, as the paradigm of how we interact with technology shifts to intelligent interfaces and voice control."

The Viv team of Dag Kittlaus, Adam Cheyer and Chris Brigham will continue to operate independently under its existing leadership, but it surely won't be long until we see the technology integrated into Samsung's hardware in some form.

"At Viv, we’re building the simplest way for anyone to talk to devices and services everywhere," said Kittlaus, CEO and co-founder of 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. Samsung offers us a unique opportunity to deliver a single conversational interface to the world’s apps and services across a diverse range of products, at global scale."