When Siri debuted in the iPhone 4S years ago, technophiles were instantly endeared by the capable digital assistant. While Apple has been improving Siri through the years, many have felt that the capable VA is still not without her limitations. Today, the original developers of Siri, Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer, unveiled Viv, the digital assistant that Siri was originally meant to be.
Apple's iconic digital assistant changed the way that AI was used for conventional, everyday devices. With the unveiling of Viv, its developers are aiming to bring widespread AI to the mainstream market. This means that, unlike Siri, which is confined only to Apple's iOS ecosystem, Viv is far more open and thus, able to do a whole lot more.
Viv was unveiled to the public on Monday, during TechCrunch's Disrupt event. In a presentation, Kittlaus, one of the digital assistant's main developers, showed the audience a little bit of what Viv could do. During the brief time that Viv was exhibited, it was able to garner much applause from the audience.
"No one company in the world has the resources to plug in all the different services. That's what Viv has spent a lot of time and money on. Each assistant does 20 to 30 different things. Now it's going to tens of thousands of different things," Kittlaus said.
What makes Viv such an upgrade over Siri and other popular assistants like Microsoft's Cortana is the assistant's software backbone itself, which the developers called dynamic program generation. Unlike common digital assistants, which utilizes a series of pre-selected responses to specific questions, Viv's software actually figures out the intent of a user's question, gathers the answer from a series of sources online, and responds to the question appropriately. This is done in a matter of seconds.
"Viv will be the intelligent interface to everything. For developers, this will be the next great marketplace. The thing that comes after App Stores is this new type of marketplace that works for all different devices," Kittlaus said.
With Viv's arrival, the digital assistant arena just got a lot more interesting.