Samsung announced plans to acquire Viv this week, an AI assistant system that was co-founded by Dag Kittlaus, Adam Cheyer and Chris Brigham. If the names aren’t familiar to you, their work surely is, as they are responsible for the creation of Siri, which was acquired by Apple in 2010. Following that acquisition, the team left to found Viv in 2012.
Viv offers a natural language understanding, similar to what you would find from Google Assistant, machine learning capabilities, as well as “strategic partnerships that will enrich a broader service ecosystem.”
There is currently no word on the price of the acquisition.
In essence, with this announcement, Samsung is paving its way to compete with Apple and Google. Currently lacking on Samsung devices, whether they run Android or Tizen (and not including S Voice which is no longer in use), is voice-operated assistant software. Something that can schedule meetings, answers questions in a contextual manner, or even help you book movie tickets. Since Apple, Google, and Amazon are all working on this, it’s no surprise Samsung is hopping aboard.
Below, check out an interview with Samsung’s Mobile Business CTO, Injong Rhee. In it, he discusses Samsung’s approach to AI.