Siri Co-Founders Building Viv, a Next-Generation Flexible Virtual Assistant

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    When Apple acquired Siri in 2010, several members of the team behind the technology joined Apple to continue development of the virtual assistant. As iOS evolved and the vision for Siri changed, co-founders Dag Kitt­laus and Adam Cheyer left Apple to pursue other opportunities. This liberation led to their reunion and the formation of Viv Labs, which is now working on new virtual assistant software that may change how we interact with our devices. Writer Steven Levy takes a close look at Viv in a lengthy profile on Wired.

    Viv Labs is building a virtual assistant that is capable of more than just pre-programmed answers in response to a question. Viv expands further into the realm of artificial intelligence with a codebase that can interpret the question, make connections across a variety of services and apps and even generate code on the fly if needed to formulate an answer. Team members describe Viv as a "global brain" that can learn about its users and adapt to their preferences.
    Unlike Siri, which was targeted at the iPhone even before its acquisition by Apple, Kitt­laus and his team hope to license the technology and bring Viv to a variety of devices including TVs, cars and other Internet-connected devices.
    Viv is an ambitious project that is still in the early stages of development, but the vision is revolutionary. "If this team is successful, we are looking at the future of intelligent agents and a multibillion-dollar industry," said AI expert Oren Etzioni of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence to Wired.

    It's unclear whether Apple will be interested in the technology and what kind of relationship the two companies might have given their history with Siri, but what is clear is that Siri's inventors have much broader ambitions in mind.

    Article Link: Siri Co-Founders Building Viv, a Next-Generation Flexible Virtual Assistant
  2. macrumors 68040


    Feb 12, 2010
  3. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 27, 2012
    Now this is one idea that shouldn't be lost to Google, at least for now.
  4. macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2012
    My vote goes for a new Siri-like assistant with a Silicon Valley accent.
  5. macrumors 601


    Jul 5, 2004
    Here's a test scenario: "Viv, pick up the best parts for a PC capable of running Final Fantasy XIV at medium settings in 720p for under 200$ CAD, minus the monitor, keyboard and mouse."
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 23, 2007
    If its good hopefully some or all of it will make its way into Siri. Personally I hope Siri gets some attention in iOS 9 and always listening for Hey Siri with iPhone 6.
  7. macrumors 68020

    Jan 5, 2012
    If they can develop this, what stopped them developing it for Siri when they were at Apple?
  8. macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2009
    If you're going to your brother's house for some cheap wine in order to match your lasagna, I'm not sure Viv can help you with the larger issues at hand.
  9. macrumors 6502

    Jun 8, 2011
    It probably was too early in the planning stage to release any information on it. Or it wasn't possible with their knowledge a the time.
  10. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 14, 2014
    Viv? I thought Cortana was bad enough. :eek:
    (name wise)

  11. macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2011
    Vilano Beach, FL
    From the article:

    Technology is usually hampered more by non-technical issues than the ability to implement.
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2007
    If Apple released Siri as Beta, Viv must be an Alpha, years away from any real use.
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2011
  14. macrumors 68000


    Feb 27, 2014
    New Jersey, United States
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2006
    Now that Apple and IBM are close, if Siri and Watson got together and spawned a code child it would probably look very much like Viv.
  16. macrumors 6502


    Dec 8, 2007
    I imagine Siri, Cortana and Google Now should slowly get to be just like Viv as their feature sets grow.

    I hope so anyway.
  17. macrumors 68000

    Dec 13, 2010
    They should just copy Google's voice software, its beats Siri to death in terms of voice recognition.
  18. macrumors 68020


    Oct 21, 2013
    would you like me to search that for you?

    No siri i want you to search it, find the answer and give me that answer. Viv seems like a step in the right direction.
  19. macrumors 65816

    Jan 26, 2010
  20. macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2013
    Even if it is better at recognition or has more features, Google Voice doesn't do anything nearly this complex.
  21. macrumors 65816

    Jan 26, 2010
    1. Did you even read the article? This has nothing to do with Siri or Apple.
    2. Depends on your dialect. Works perfectly for me. Google on the other hand, fails to recognise most British-English accents completely.
  22. macrumors 68020

    Nov 10, 2007
    Siri understands me just fine. Never had a problem unless I mumble. Perhaps you should consider some diction classes...
  23. macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    The fact that Apple needed a service that would run on an iPhone, be just for consumers, and they needed it ASAP.

    Leaving Apple means that they're completely free to make it as they want without limitation... well, except how much capital they have to work with. But I'd imagine they're pretty well off on that front having been the people behind Siri.

    Also, I feel like they may be understating it when they say this is a multi-billion dollar industry. It sounds like it has the potential to be a multi-trillion dollar industry to me. I mean, really, we're talking a computer capable of programming itself. At that point, computers will be capable of replacing almost anyone... the only thing they wouldn't be capable of replacing would be being the person who formulates tasks that Viv needs to fulfill. And if Viv is done right, maybe all you need to do is have Viv program that replacement, too.

    I wonder at that point what we, as a species, even bother doing at that point.
  24. macrumors 6502a


    Feb 1, 2011
    Actually I can't remember any personal assistant that didn't claim to have some magic ability to understand language. The problem is that it's still fake. Sure, when you read stuff like "Give me a flight to Dallas with a seat that Shaq could fit in." it sounds impressive, but the problem to me is: Who the hell talks like that? Nobody does. And I wouldn't even try, because I'm talking to a program and not to a basketball enthusiast who'd laugh about the reference. It would be much more convenient if the program understands real language and not some artificial test sentences to impress people in a keynote. I just have the feeling that the focus here is totally lost.
  25. macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    Hey Viv!

    Hi Viv,

    I need something to get blood stains out of a carpet and the GPS location of an out of the away place to bury something. Also, could you give me information on shovels and the location of the nearest hardware store?:D

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