Samsung Electronics to buy US artificial intelligence firm Viv Labs

06 Oct 2016


South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd today struck a deal to buy US artificial intelligence (AI) platform developer Viv Labs Inc, for an undisclosed sum.

Viv LabsSamsung, the world's biggest smartphone maker, said that the deal will showcase its commitment to virtual personal assistants and is part of its broader vision to deliver an AI-based open ecosystem across all of its devices and services.

San Jose, California-based Viv Labs was founded in 2012 by a team that includes Apple's Siri voice assistant co-creators Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer.

Viv has developed a new voice assistant proprietary multiplatform software that performs everyday tasks for a user all on its own.

Like Apple's Siri, Google Now, Amazon's Alexa,or Samsung's virtual assistant, S Voice, Viv's platform can be used to do things like to find location, restaurant, order flowers, research weather conditions, all through language commands.

Kittlaus hinted that Viv's new voice assistant is better than Siri since it has ''dozens'' of features, and ''hundreds of thousands'' of capabilities.

''At Viv, we're building the simplest way for anyone to talk to devices and services everywhere. We see a future that is decidedly beyond apps-where you can get what you need quickly and easily no matter where you are, or what device you are near,'' said Kittlaus.

''Unlike other existing AI-based services, Viv has a sophisticated natural language understanding, machine learning capabilities and strategic partnerships that will enrich a broader service ecosystem,'' said Injong Rhee, CTO of the Mobile Communications business at Samsung Electronics.

''Viv was built with both consumers and developers in mind. This dual focus is also what attracted us to Viv as an ideal candidate to integrate with Samsung home appliances, wearables and more, as the paradigm of how we interact with technology shifts to intelligent interfaces and voice control.''

With Viv, Samsung said that its customers will be able to unlock new service experiences in gadgets like smartphones, refrigerators, TV's and other home appliances, including one that simplifies user interfaces, understands the context of and offers the most appropriate and convenient suggestions and recommendations.

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