Samsung has decided to join the AI assistant party with its purchase of California-based Viv Labs, whose staff includes members of the team that created Apple's Siri. The eventual product of this acquisition is a platform to compete with Amazon's Alexa and Google's recently announced Assistant.
Viv showed off its personal assistant technology at TechCrunch Disrupt New York in May. Kittlaus demonstrated Viv's assistant answering a number of complex queries that appear to be beyond the capabilities of existing AI assistants. Samsung plans to use Viv's technology to offer "an AI-based open ecosystem across all of its devices and services." The electronics giant hopes to simplify user interfaces and offer new services using a natural language interface. The company claims that Viv Labs operate independently, but "will work closely with Samsung's Mobile Communications business."
Viv Labs was founded by Dag Kittlaus, Adam Cheyer, and Chris Brigham in September 2012. The three men were part of the original team at Siri, Inc. before the startup was purchased by Apple in April 2010. The Siri AI assistant is now one of the central features in Apple's mobile and desktop operating systems. Samsung didn't publish the financial details pertaining the deal. The company notes that the transaction is still subject to the usual closing conditions of IP acquisitions.