Both theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk have warned that artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to destroy humanity. Established geniuses as they are, their words don’t seem to have resonated with Dag Kittlaus, the brains behind Siri, the beloved virtual assistant for iPhone. Ignoring words of caution pertaining to pending doom, the Norwegian, along with his team, have given birth to yet another AI, Viv. Dubbed “The Global Brain”, this cloud-based virtual assistant is being called the next generation AI assistant. But the question is, is it?
When I first saw Viv being revealed on the stage, I didn’t really think that it would offer anything that Siri can’t because quite frankly, Apple has put a whole lot of effort into enhancing the virtual assistant originally creator by Kittlaus, and it has certainly become a lot better since iOS 9 arrived. However, my opinion changed drastically when I saw Viv answering some really specific questions and performing some complicated tasks during a live stream hosted by TechCrunch.
Siri vs. Viv
We know how good Siri is as it can answer most of our queries. The recent iterations of iOS have seen the iPhone helper grow even smarter and become capable of performing even more challenging tasks with apparent ease.
However, Kittlaus and his team have gone beyond that with Viv virtual assistant by integrating support for popular third-party apps. This integration allows users to perform multiple tasks easily. When using Viv, you will just have to ask it book a room in a certain hotel at a certain location, and it will do so. You will also be able to ask it to call you an Uber ride and that too will be done immediately. Similarly, Viv supports a handful of other third-party apps, with the developers assuring that more support will be added with time. This app integration can be a huge help because navigating through different apps and finding stuff you need can be pretty annoying at times.
A Smart AI Assistant with All the Answers
Apart from third-party app integration, Viv comes with a really smart AI that is capable of answering some really specific questions. An example of this feature was presented during the live demo when Kittlaus asked Viv, “Will it be warmer than 70-degrees near the Golden gate bridge after 5pm the day after tomorrow?”, to which the assistant responded correctly. A lot of questions like this were asked during the live demo and Viv answered all of them correctly without much of a hassle. This just goes to show how enhanced AI of this virtual assistant is, giving Siri and Google Now a very good reason to feel insecure.
Viv is something that Kittlaus wanted Siri to be, but Apple bought it out and simplified it a huge deal to suit its structure. However, Kittlaus now has a chance to shine again and he assures people that he has absolutely no plans for selling this virtual assistant to anyone. However, he did admit that a lot of financial contributions to this project have been made by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Jack Dorsey. Kittlaus and his team want Viv to become a household name just like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and from what we’ve seen so far, it doesn’t look like Viv would face any trouble achieving this feat.