New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

Siri Creators Offer First Demo of 'Viv', the Self-Coding Voice Assistant

Siri co-founders Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer have offered their first public demonstration of Viv, the much-anticipated voice assistant that promises an advanced level of human-computer interaction. The demo took place yesterday at TechCrunch's Disrupt NY event, where Viv's creators wasted no time showing what the new AI bot is capable of.

Kittlaus began by asking Viv what the weather was like today, but then continued the conversation with increasingly complicated queries, like "Was it raining in Seattle three Thursdays ago?" and even "Will it be warmer than 70-degrees near the Golden Gate Bridge after 5pm the day after tomorrow?" Viv had no problems answering the stacked requests, showing a clear awareness of context.

Kittlaus Viv demo
Viv CEO Dag Kittlaus demos the new AI bot at TechCrunch Disrupt NY (Image: TechCrunch)

Viv's enhanced contextual awareness is thanks to what Kittlaus called "dynamic program generation", a "new science breakthrough" that enables Viv to understand the intent of the user and code its own responses on the fly.

The feature is central to Kittlaus and Cheyer's hopes for a thriving third-party ecosystem for Viv, since developers are fully able to integrate it into their apps' functionality. The idea is that developers will take advantage of the open-ended nature of the platform to create new and increasingly complex experiences in a short period of time, instead of having to hard-code every response specific to their apps' interactive features.


Kittlaus and Cheyer say Viv is closer to the original vision they had for Siri, the virtual assistant they created in 2007 which is now built into all of Apple's iOS devices. Google and Facebook have already made offers to purchase the AI bot, but it is not clear if Kittlaus and Cheyer have plans to sell the technology, while early integrations are expected to come "later this year".

Tag: Viv


Top Rated Comments

(View all)

40 months ago
I'm as patient with Apple as anyone - I love their computers and their phones, and I'll probably buy a Watch when the second-gen is released.

But how they bought Siri and actually had these guys working for them and yet Apple aren't the ones making this announcement is incredible.

This presentation should have been a part of WWDC, built into iOS 10, OS X, watch OS 3.0 and the newest tvOS. I guess we'll have to wait until June 13th, but man, this will be hard to beat.
Rating: 54 Votes
40 months ago

Are you sure Quicktime is capable of that? Because I'm pretty sure it isn't (but would love to be corrected).

QuickTime CAN do so. I am 100% sure.
Just set movie recording source to your device while you device is connected, then you are all set.
Rating: 19 Votes
40 months ago

unfortunately if i have to launch Viv every time i need to make a request, this isn't going to work.


"Siri, launch Viv and ask her to tell me how the weather is."
:D
Rating: 15 Votes
40 months ago

Yeah and the Macbook with glowing Apple logo and this announcements proximity to WWDC is hard to think of as a coincidence. No big conspiracy, just a gentle little tip-of-the-hat-and-a-wink to Apple, not enough to offend though, just in case they end up selling to back to them ;) I hope they do as Siri hasn't moved on at all, it's just as confused by the things i ask today as it was the first day i had it.


What strikes me as odd is that, let's pretend Siri can be split into two halves: Speech-to-text and Text-to-Action

Even if the speech-to-text wasn't great, and you had to be really clear when you spoke to it, why isn't the Text-to-Action good? Aren't there people at Apple looking through Siri queries, and able to spend all day every day adding new functionality?

It debuted in 2011, surly even if someone was to write out the commands a user needed to say by hand they could. "Siri can't do this, but it would be cool if it could. How many ways are there to say it?"

Isn't someone ticking off a list ensuring that every function of the device can also be accomplished using Siri? Why not add feedback to the Siri UI: "Did Siri do what you wanted?" with a Yes / No. Then they can look through all the "No"s and work out what happened, how to improve the service, etc?
Rating: 13 Votes
40 months ago
Pretty powerful. Hopefully Siri will be able to do more in iOS 10.
Rating: 12 Votes
40 months ago

I'm as patient with Apple as anyone - I love their computers and their phones, and I'll probably buy a Watch when the second-gen is released.

But how they bought Siri and actually had these guys working for them and yet Apple aren't the ones making this announcement is incredible.

This presentation should have been a part of WWDC, built into iOS 10, OS X, watch OS 3.0 and the newest tvOS. I guess we'll have to wait until June 13th, but man, this will be hard to beat.


Yeah and the Macbook with glowing Apple logo and this announcements proximity to WWDC is hard to think of as a coincidence. No big conspiracy, just a gentle little tip-of-the-hat-and-a-wink to Apple, not enough to offend though, just in case they end up selling it back to them ;) I hope they do as Siri hasn't moved on at all, it's just as confused by the things i ask today as it was the first day i had it.
Rating: 11 Votes
40 months ago

QuickTime CAN do so. I am 100% sure.
Just set movie recording source to your device while you device is connected, then you are all set.

Oh wow, just tested it and it works. Never knew that.

Learn something new every day.
Rating: 7 Votes
40 months ago

But it can't talk back and give a straight yes and no answer? He asks about the weather and all he gets is a screen with the weather app. Not that great for me.

Above the weather app there were words that I assume Viv would speak. It read something like "no it will not be that warm." He said they are still working on the voice.
Rating: 6 Votes
40 months ago

Why is the guy's MBP running QuickTime all the time during the demo?


To show his iPhone's screen on his desktop.
Rating: 6 Votes
40 months ago
I get a bit nervous when tech demos use ideal scenarios. There is some browsing and refining involved in the hotel demo, but would you really book one that blindly? Or know exactly where you're taking your uber from and that you need to specify the number of people upfront and build a perfect query containing all of that info? Very impressive and feel like Apple could greatly benefit from their expertise, but as a 3rd party product you it'll never be as frictionless as Siri, even if more robust. My guess is that they're aiming for acquisition and negotiating their terms when brought back into whatever company acquires them, which could be Apple, or even a car maker.
Rating: 6 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]