Three of the creative minds behind Apple’s revolutionary Siri personal assistant are working on something that could blow it out of the water.
Siri has been a fundamental part of Apple’s iOS ever since it launched alongside the iPhone 4S in 2011. It allowed users to ask their phones to note appointments, place calls, initiate web searches, and send messages using natural language. And for the most part, it worked.
Now Viv Labs, a company founded by three of Siri’s creators, is working on taking that AI assistant concept to the next level.
Speaking with Wired, the team revealed that its new project, Viv, will be able to learn to complete tasks it was not initially programmed to do. It will also be able to interpret more complicated sentences that involve extended combinations of tasks and services.
For example, Viv is able to respond to a request to book a restaurant table on the next available night in your schedule. This seemingly simple process of checking your calendar and accessing OpenTable as part of the same task is beyond Siri at present.
Another example is Viv’s ability to find a bottle of wine that goes with a particular dish, whilst also locating the nearest retailer at which it’s sold.
Viv will not be confined within Apple’s limited ecosystem of related apps, either. Rather, it can access websites and countless third party services to draw its information from.
It will draw its expertise and, in effect, learn from a single cloud-based pool of information. Or, as the team calls it, a “global brain.” Which sounds a bit scary to us.
Viv Labs is looking to offer its services to all phone, tablet, and PC users, but there’s evidently some way to go before the next stage in AI assistance is realised. Still, it’s evident that Siri needs to smarten up if it’s to remain relevant.
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