Samsung has agreed to acquire Viv, a next generation AI assistant

Samsung has agreed to acquire Viv, a next generation artificial intelligence natural language platform created by the same team that originally made Siri.

Samsung announced today that it has agreed to acquire Viv, an artificial intelligence conversational platform. Viv is a voice assistant made by the same team that created Siri.

Siri was available as an App on the iPhone before Apple acquired it and baked the AI into the operating system. The current Viv team left Apple over disagreements on what direction Siri should be developed in, and Viv is what the makers originally intended Siri to be.

The Global Innovation Centre of Samsung was responsible for the acquisition on behalf of Samsung Mobile Communications. Jacopo Lenzi, SVP of Business Development and Strategic Acquisitions said "We see great potential in the Viv AI software and platform, and we’re excited for Viv to reach our millions of users through Samsung’s global presence and distribution." Injong Rhee, CTO of Mobile Communications at Samsung said "Unlike other existing AI-based services, Viv has a sophisticated natural language understanding, machine learning capabilities and strategic partnerships that will enrich a broader service ecosystem." Here is Injong Rhee, speaking about the Viv acquisition.

Viv differs from current intelligent assistants because it uses a virtual network of associated areas and capabilities. It uses a technological breakthrough called dynamic program generation to create programs in under 10 milliseconds, and execute the code on the fly. Viv is meant to be a platform for conversational commerce, which uses a natural language voice interface to book hotel rooms, order supplies from a store, or pay back a loan to a friend. Viv can interpret long and complex sentences, as well as keep track of the context of a conversation.

Viv co-founder and CEO, Dag Kittlaus said "At Viv, we’re building the simplest way for anyone to talk to devices and services everywhere. We see a future that is decidedly beyond apps—where you can get what you need quickly and easily no matter where you are, or what device you are near. Samsung offers us a unique opportunity to deliver a single conversational interface to the world’s apps and services across a diverse range of products, at global scale."

Viv has a dual focus on both consumers and developers, which is one of the reasons Samsung has agreed to acquire Viv. With the acquisition, Samsung will be able to offer users a conversational, contextual and personalised experience. Facebook and Google had previously shown interest in acquiring the AI startup.

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