Samsung might be trying to beat arch-rival Apple quite literally at its own game in the increasingly competitive artificial intelligence arena, also going after Google, Amazon or Microsoft with external help.
Forget S Voice, as the virtual personal assistant likely to be baked into next-generation Galaxy phones, Gear wearables and various home appliances is called Viv, its research and development having been led by “AI visionaries” Dag Kittlaus, Adam Cheyer and Chris Brigham since 2012.
Don’t feel bad if the names ring few bells, although Kittlaus was the CEO and Cheyer the VP of Engineering of the company that handed Siri to Apple on a silver platter several years back. Viv Labs then set its own path for devising a “unique, open artificial intelligence platform that gives third-party developers the power to use and build conversational assistants and integrate a natural language-based interface into renowned applications and services.”
Said platform is clearly the object of Samsung’s just-announced Viv acquisition, “subject to customary closing conditions”, with undisclosed financial details. Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana and Alexa should be getting a high-profile new challenger as early as H2 2017, which left many in awe with pre-release demos of late, touting a “sophisticated natural language understanding, machine learning capabilities and strategic partnerships aimed at enriching a broader service ecosystem.”