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Google Assistant who? Samsung buys ‘next-gen’ AI platform Viv

When it’s not tending to its explosive phones, Samsung is making moves in other areas, such as artificial intelligence.

The company has acquired Viv, an AI platform developed by the team behind Siri and designed to offer a more powerful and adaptable assistant experience.

As Techcrunch explains, Dag Kittlaus, Adam Cheyer, and Chris Brigham left Apple in 2010, after creating Siri, to work on Viv.

The ‘next generation’ AI software has been developed to function as a more in-depth assistant than Siri and other AIs, with the ability to respond to complicated, layered questions.

Related: Galaxy S8 – Everything we know

Note 7
Future Samsung handsets could come with a proprietary AI assistant based on Viv

Following the company’s acquisition by Samsung, Viv will still operate as an independent company, providing services to Sammy.

With the ability to connect information across apps and services, the AI allows for more conversational queries.

What’s more, Viv says the software is capable of ‘writing its own code’, which the company refers to as “dynamic program generation”, in order to carry out tasks it previously couldn’t.

It’s not the only piece of AI software to use this approach, but it was one of the first to announce the technique as central to how its version of AI functions.

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macOS Siri
Apple recently introduced Siri to the desktop in macOS Sierra

Kittlaus told TechCrunch: “Instead of having to write every code instructed, you’re really just describing what you want it to do.

“The whole idea of Viv is that developers can go in and build any experience that they want.”

The co-creator of Viv also explained the reasoning behind the Samsung acquisition, saying the goal was “ubiquity” and that “now is the right time”.

All of which points towards future Samsung handsets coming with their own built-in virtual assistant, separate from Google’s recently announced Google Assistant – which will come with the new Pixel phones, the Google Pixel and Pixel XL.

Related: Google Allo/Assistant tips and tricks

Google showed off its new AI at the Pixel phone launch this week, demonstrating the advancements it’s made in understanding speech and performing context-sensitive tasks.

But it seems Samsung could soon give Google, as well as Apple and Microsoft’s Siri and Cortana, a run for their money, with a virtual assistant based on Viv’s supposedly more advanced infrastructure.

The Korean firm’s acquisition of Viv could also mean the arrival of a Viv-based smart speaker in the future, to rival Amazon’s Echo and Google Home.

Viv is yet to officially launch, however, so there’s a big question surrounding its real-world functionality.

But we’re expecting big things from Sammy, and tech firms in general, when it comes to AI in the next few years, so stay tuned for more.

Watch: Galaxy S8: Everything We Know So Far

Let us know what you make of Samsung’s Viv acquisition in the comments.

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