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Creators Of Siri Demo Their Next AI Assistant Viv, It's Far More Open Platform (twitter.com) 53

A small company called Viv on Monday unveiled a "frictionless", artificially intelligent software also called Viv, which understands complicated human queries and connects with other apps to get your work done more conveniently and efficiently. Viv was demonstrated live at TechCrunch's Disrupt NY conference on Monday. Dag Kittlaus, co-founder of Viv, and creator of Siri, said that the idea behind it is to open the app to all developers so that they could leverage their technology. (Interestingly, under the realm of Apple, Siri, five years since first launched, is still not open for developers.) Ben Popper, reports for The Verge: The major difference between Siri and Viv is that the latter is a far more open platform. One of the biggest frustrations with Siri is that it has only a small number of tasks it can complete. For the vast multitude of requests or queries, Siri will default to a generic web search. Viv's approach is much closer to Amazon's Alexa or Facebook's Messenger bots, offering the ability to connect with third party merchants and vendors so that it can execute on requests to purchase goods or book reservations. The company's tagline -- intelligence becomes a utility -- nicely sums up its goal of powering the conversational AI inside a multitude of gadgets and digital services.You can watch the demonstration here.
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Creators Of Siri Demo Their Next AI Assistant Viv, It's Far More Open Platform

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  • "... unveiled a "frictionless", artificially intelligent software"

    What does "frictionless" mean in this context?

    • Frictionless as in: not going to turn nazi.
    • It means "easy to use". Plus it leaks all your personal information to everyone frictionlessly.
      • Viv's approach is much closer to Amazon's Alexa or Facebook's Messenger bots, offering the ability to connect with third party merchants and vendors so that it can execute on requests to purchase goods or book reservations. The company's tagline -- intelligence becomes a utility -- nicely sums up its goal of powering the conversational AI inside a multitude of gadgets and digital services.

        Not only will it try and search for something you asked about, it will try to sell you 19 variations of something. An alternative company motto for them to consider could be "brought to you by Carl's Junior and Ouch My Balls!"

    • Nothing really - it's a buzzword. You need to parse that out really.

      That doesn't mean that it won't be an improvement, but realistically the description would be more useful if they just said "It's a lot like Siri but it understands more complex questions and it can interact with third party applications.".

      Granted, I'm an Android user to I use Google's assistant program, but I've found them to be a useful idea but certainly primitive. "Ok Google set alarm . . ." is great - until it tells you that there ar

      • "It's a lot like Siri but it understands more complex questions and it can interact with third party applications.".

        With a more open interface, are we sure that "interaction" won't be along the lines of "I see you want to buy that book from Barnes and Noble, but wouldn't you rather buy it from Amazon?" Or "I see you're asking about how to cook flank steak, but Trader Joes has a special on tofu and it's better for you ..."

      • Alexa has some limits when it comes to multiple alarms too, but "Alexa delete all alarms" does work to delete your alarms.
    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      It means someone who drank and partied their way through an education has heard a cool word and is using it for marketing :(
      In other words it's just a synonym for "good" in this context.
    • Just waiting for the guys who originally did IRIS to come up with a fully open source answer to this.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This is so obviously copying Apple's Siri, I wonder when Apple will sue.
    They even claim they invented Siri!
    Everyone knows Apple did for they invent everything (and the things they didn't invent aren't worth it by nature of not being invented by Apple)
  • The Demo is awesome. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Wargames ( 91725 ) on Monday May 09, 2016 @02:10PM (#52077347) Journal

    Awesome demo, when is it going to be released? These are some of the things I been expecting ever since they got decent VR. It's a wonder to me why Siri can't accomplish these things like they intentionally dumbed it down for the masses. There is no excuse why this can't run locally on the phone.

    "Read me the front page of the New York Times."

    "Read me the first chapter of Moby Dick"

    "Tell me who just sent the last text message."...
    "Read it to me."

    "Every weekday morning at 6AM, Wake me up and Play me headline news from Agogo."

    • by Anonymous Coward

      For whatever it's worth, you can do most of these with Amazon's Echo. Okay, it probably can't do the text message one, and I'm not sure about the NY Times one, but as long as you have the book in your kindle library, it can read it to you. And it can do the "Every morning at 6am wake me up" and then "play my news flash".

      No, I'm not Jeff Bezos astroturfing :-) just someone who thinks his Echo is fun.

      • Echo is fun to use. But the developer process... it's pretty much a grade-A clusterfuck.

        To get Echo to do anything, you have to provide canned speech fragments that define everything your service is going to do. There's no "smarts" at all behind the speech interpretation; it's straight-up text-to-text matching. That's quite aside from the secure server requirements and the complete lack of a reasonable local echo-to-computer-to-echo interface.

        I have an Echo and an Echo dot. Love using them. Wish they were r

    • High Hopes (Score:5, Interesting)

      by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Monday May 09, 2016 @03:32PM (#52078151)

      I view a different reality from the world you assume.

      "Read me the front page of the New York Times."

      Viv - "Ad brought to you by McDonald's. You deserve a break today. Present this device and receive a 1% discount on any purchase of 5.00 or more for lunch. First Story - Brought to you by SnapOn Tools -" and you get treated to the exact portrayal of the story the propagandists dream of, with all the emphasis and pregnant pauses in all the right places.

      "Read me the first chapter of Moby Dick"

      Viv - "People who read this book also read of Mice and Men. I do not show you as a registered owner of reading rights for that book, would you like me to buy a copy for you? Please wait while I verify your ownership of rights to read Moby Dick - You have 2 reading rights remaining to this book - First page, brought to you by Kelloggs" *commercial spot*

  • by Elixon ( 832904 ) on Monday May 09, 2016 @04:31PM (#52078707) Homepage Journal

    By the nature of the demo it is clear what they aim at.

    4 demoed transactions in 2 minutes: 1. show weather, 2. spend money on tulips, 3. spend money on hotel, 4. spend money on cab. VIV obviously stands for
    Valuable Information Value.

    Definitely something you will not install on your wife's phone.

  • "Hey Viv, when does 'its' take an apostrophe?"

When a fellow says, "It ain't the money but the principle of the thing," it's the money. -- Kim Hubbard

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