Samsung Acquires Viv, the AI Assistant From the Creators of Siri

Samsung has acquired Viv, the AI assistant co-founded by Dag Kittlaus, Adam Cheyer and Chris Brigham, who created Siri, which was acquired by Apple in 2010, reports TechCrunch. The trio left Apple in 2012 and founded Viv. Viv will continue to operate as an independent company.

vivlogo
Viv has enhanced contextual understanding thanks to "dynamic program generation," which means that Viv can understand the intent of a user's queries and self-code responses on the fly. Viv can understand context and stack multiple queries on top of each other. For instance, at TechCrunch's Disrupt NY event last year, Kittlaus was able to ask Viv whether it was raining in Seattle a couple days prior, following up with whether it'll be warmer than 70-degrees near Golden Gate Bridge after 5pm the day after tomorrow.

Kittlaus tells TechCrunch that the reason it sold to Samsung was ubiquity. The company ships 500 million devices a year, he explained, which gives Viv a large distribution network. On the other hand, the acquisition gives Samsung its own AI assistant that can go toe-to-toe with Siri, Google Assistant and Amazon's Alexa.

Samsung says that while the acquisition was done by its mobile team, the company sees the benefits to multiple product categories. "From our perspective and from the client’s perspective, the interest and the power of this really comes from taking advantage of the Samsung scale overall, as well as the richness of the touch points we have with consumers." Viv's technology may eventually work its way into Samsung's non-mobile devices, like washing machines, refrigerators and TVs.


Advanced AI assistants have become a focus amongst Apple and its rivals recently. In May, it was reported that Apple was planning on introducing a next-gen natural language API in its rumored Amazon Echo competitor. The technology behind the API is the work of VocalIQ, a natural language outfit purchased by Apple in October 2015. The API has the ability to do "session-based" contextual responses similar to Viv.

Top Rated Comments

Rob_2811 Avatar
63 months ago
Sums it up really ..

Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Asianpork Avatar
63 months ago
Viv on Note 7- "Joe, you have two notifications from your wife, asking you to pick up milk. The store is closing in 10 mins. Should you choose to accept this mission you will be given the necessary parameters. This is not mission possible. This is mission impossible. This message, along with this phone will self distruct in 5 seconds. Good luck"
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Crosscreek Avatar
63 months ago
Is anyone paying attention at Apple anymore?
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ZombiePete Avatar
63 months ago
I could have sworn I remember these guys saying specifically that they weren't interested in selling Viv. I guess Samsung dropped enough money to change their minds.

I'd love to see Apple's AI improve, but it's really ultimately not that important a factor in my buying decision. In general, Siri is good enough for me, particularly without having to let a company dig through my data.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pika2000 Avatar
63 months ago
Samsung exec: We need new things for new Galaxy launch next year.
Samsung employee 1: Well, that's that assistant thing that Google is doing.
Samsung exec: Ok, who else have been doing it?
Samsung employee 1: Well, Apple, Microsoft, they all have something like that
Samsung exec: Okay, copy them ASAP for next year launch
Samsung employee 1: errr, it's not that easy Sir, plus we have these expl....
Samsung exec: You're fired. You there, number 2, speak.
Samsung employee 2: Good timing sir. We can buy this company called Viv
Samsung exec: Do it. Oh, and we can call it S-voice.
Samsung employee 2: I believe we did that alread...
Samsung exec: Are you questioning my genius? S-Voice, Samsung's new innovation.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hlevolve Avatar
63 months ago
Why does Siri still suck so much and most of the time be utterly useless?

Many times I notice the text that appears on the screen is correct and then it changes to something incorrect afterwards >:|

Hopefully next year is a major breakthrough for Siri as well as much more 3rd developer access/support.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

General Apps Messages

All Three Major U.S. Carriers and Google Adopt Rich Communication Services, But No Sign of Apple Interest

Tuesday July 20, 2021 1:15 pm PDT by
For the last several years, Google has been pushing a new communications protocol called Rich Communication Services, or RCS. RCS is designed to replace SMS, the current text message standard, and it offers support for higher resolution photos and videos, audio messages, bigger file sizes, better encryption, improved group chat, and more. Verizon today announced that it is planning to adopt...
AirPods Pro Beta Firmware

AirPods Pro Beta Firmware Now Available

Wednesday July 21, 2021 6:50 am PDT by
Upcoming AirPods Pro firmware updates are now available to Apple Developer Program members as beta versions. AirPods Pro firmware beta one features FaceTime Spatial Audio and Ambient Noise Reduction. Custom Transparency mode, including Conversation Boost, was initially expected to be included in the beta but appears to have been delayed for a later version. Apple made the announcement...
maxresdefault

Apple Music to Livestream Premiere of Kanye West's New Album 'Donda' on Thursday

Wednesday July 21, 2021 1:49 am PDT by
Apple Music on Thursday will host a global livestream for the premiere of Kanye West's tenth studio album, titled "Donda." The sold-out event will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, and Apple Music's livestream will start at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The livestream was revealed in a Beats Studio Buds ad that aired during the NBA Finals. The ad features U.S. track...
ios wifi settings

Apple Confirms iOS 14.7 Fixes WiFi Bug and Many Other Vulnerabilities

Wednesday July 21, 2021 11:38 am PDT by
Following the release of iPadOS 14.7 this morning, Apple has shared details on the security updates that are included in iOS 14.7, iPadOS 14.7, macOS Big Sur 11.5, watchOS 7.6, and tvOS 14.7, all of which came out this week. Notably, Apple's documentation confirms that the iOS 14.7 and iPadOS 14.7 updates address a WiFi-related vulnerability that could impact iOS devices when joining a...
16 inch macbook pro m2 render

Gurman: Redesigned MacBook Pros to Launch Between September and November

Sunday July 18, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
Apple can be expected to release its redesigned 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros sometime between September and November, as part of another packed fall season for new product launches, according to Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman says that the new MacBook Pros will go into production in the third quarter and can be expected to be...
macOS Malware Feature

Common Windows Malware Can Now Infect Macs

Wednesday July 21, 2021 8:13 am PDT by
A common form of malware on Windows systems has been modified into a new strain called "XLoader" that can also target macOS (via Bleeping Computer). Derived from the Formbook info-stealer for Windows, XLoader is a form of cross-platform malware advertised as a botnet with no dependencies. It is used to steal login credentials, capture screenshots, log keystrokes, and execute malicious files. ...
magsafe battery pack solo

Hands-On With Apple's MagSafe Battery Pack

Tuesday July 20, 2021 11:14 am PDT by
The new MagSafe Battery Pack that Apple debuted this week is arriving to customers starting today and it's also now available for in-store pickup in many Apple retail locations around the world. We snagged one this morning and thought we'd take a look at it to let MacRumors readers know if it's worth the $99 asking price. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. As the name ...
macOS Big Sur Feature Orange

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.5 With Podcast App Updates and Bug Fixes

Wednesday July 21, 2021 10:15 am PDT by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.5, the fifth major update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November 2020. macOS Big Sur 11.5 comes two months after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.4. The new ‌‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌‌ 11.5 update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences. macOS Big Sur...
apple tv 4k design green

Apple Releases tvOS 14.7 for Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K

Monday July 19, 2021 10:04 am PDT by
Apple today released tvOS 14.7, the seventh update to the tvOS 14 operating system that initially debuted in September 2020. tvOS 14.7 comes two months after the launch of the tvOS 14.6 update. tvOS 14.7, which is a free update, can be downloaded over the air through the Settings app on the Apple TV by going to System > Software Update. ‌‌Apple TV‌‌ owners who have automatic software ...
ipad pro m1 feature

Apple Releases iPadOS 14.7 With Apple Card Merging Option, Fix for 3.5mm Headphone Jack to USB-C Adapter Bug

Wednesday July 21, 2021 10:18 am PDT by
Apple today released iPadOS 14.7, marking the seventh major update to the iPadOS operating system that came out in September 2020. Apple already released iOS 14.7 on July 19, but for some reason, delayed the iPadOS 14.7 debut until today. The iPadOS 14.7 update can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new ...