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Siri-makers working on an AI bot Viv; Google and Facebook looking to buy the technology


Makers of Siri, Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer, are now working on an artificial intelligence technology called Viv, according to The Washington Post. It is believed to do more than Siri or other existing virtual networks, and something the makers wanted Siri to be. However, the duo left Apple after disagreements over the functionality of Siri.

Viv is believed to bring to the table what Siri can’t. The report talks about how Viv can help order a pizza. On asking Viv to order a pizza, the AI bot typed if the user would like toppings. “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,” adds the report. After 40 minutes made to orders pizzas arrived. This was one of the real-time demos and the technology is expected to be unveiled early next week.

The report adds that this is just one of the things that Viv can do. In fact many such functions were baked into Siri too, until Apple decided to simplify the digital assistant. “In many ways, Viv appears to be similar to Amazon’s Alexa platform. Both rely on third-party service integration and bypass the use of any third-party apps in favor of direct communication with the service itself”.

The race for building AI bots has already begun with Facebook and Microsoft at the forefront. Moreover, according to the report, Google and Facebook have made offers to buy Viv. Microsoft has started accepting submissions to its Bot Directory. There are only a handful of bots listed as of now, and there is no word yet on when the directory will go live. Microsoft’s vision is to replace applications with bots, that take action triggered by keywords.