tech2 News StaffAug 13, 2014 15:09:44 IST
The team that built Apple's voice-assistant Siri is now working on a better alternative called Viv, says a report in Wired.
According to the report, the startup called Viv Labs includes Dag Kittlaus, Adam Cheyer and Chris Brigham, who all worked on Siri before and are now trying to create a more advanced form of artificial intelligence.
Adam Cheyer told Wired, “I’m extremely proud of Siri and the impact it’s had on the world, but in many ways it could have been more. Now I want to do something bigger than mobile, bigger than consumer, bigger than desktop or enterprise. I want to do something that could fundamentally change the way software is built.”
The report notes that this "this new program... will be able to teach itself, giving it almost limitless capabilities. In time, they assert (the creators of Viv), their creation will be able to use your personal preferences and a near-infinite web of connections to answer almost any query and perform almost any function." The idea is that Viv will be able to determine a users needs even before the explicitly mention them.
Viv’s creators hope their AI will be a part of everything in the coming years, from computers, televisions, mobiles, etc.
So what separates Viv from existing Voice assistants or search programs like Google Now, Siri or even Microsoft's upcoming Cortana. For starters, the creators hope to ensure that it can do more than what the coders specifically ask the AI to do. For example you can ask all the existing search voice assistants, what the population of a city is or where a particular leader was born, but combining the two isn't possible.
Kittlaus told Wired,"... you cannot say, ‘What is the population of the city where Abraham Lincoln was born?’” The system may have the data for both these components, but it has no ability to put them together, either to answer a query or to make a smart suggestion."
In essence, the creators hope to have an assistant that can deal with complicated requests without the user having to specify. For instance, one of the scenarios that the creators hope will come true is when say a user picks up their phone and tells Viv they are drunk. The idea is that "Viv would contact the user’s preferred car service, dispatch it to the address where he’s half passed out, and direct the driver to take him home," notes the report.
It's not yet clear how much Viv will be able to do or when exactly users will see more of this, but the idea sounds ambitious. If and when Viv becomes a reality, it will certainly take artificial intelligence to the next level.
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