Two of the minds behind Siri are set to unveil a new AI-powered digital assistant on Monday, May 9. Specifically, The Washington Post reports that Siri co-founders Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer will take the wraps off of Viv, an AI assistant said to be capable of handling much more complex tasks than its predecessor.
Essentially, Viv will set itself apart from Siri by working with natural language to complete a complex series of tasks rather than taking one at a time. For example, you could ask Viv to make a restaurant reservation and buy movie tickets in one command, then Viv would carry out those tasks without sending you to an outside app. Viv could also react on the fly and make recommendations if, say, the movie is sold out. Comparatively, performing the same tasks with an AI assistant like Siri would require you to move between different apps with multiple commands.
Of course, all of this requires some heavy integration with third-party services. But according to The Washington Post, Viv will launch with an impressive slate of support from around 50 partners — including the likes of Uber, SeatGuru and GrubHub.
Grubhub chief executive Matt Maloney said he rushed to sign up with Viv two years ago, impressed with the idea of allowing consumers to perform different activities without having to toggle between services. "No one has been able to say, 'I want the movie ticket, and the bottle of wine, and some flowers on the side' — all in one breath," he said.
It will definitely be interesting to see what Viv can do when it is officially shown off next week — especially considering its similarity to Amazon's Alexa digital assistant. Whatever the case, The Washington Post reports that both Facebook and Google have already made attempts to acquire Viv, so the team clearly has something interesting on its hands.