Digital personal assistants have been with us for quite a few years already, and this is valid for Android smartphone users as well as fans of iOS and/or Windows Phone. Needless to say, the biggest players in this segment are Google Now, Siri, and Cortana. These personal assistants are present on their respective operating systems out-of-the-box, and a relatively large number of third-party digital assistants are also available for download, some being more powerful and successful than others. However, as clever as the majority of personal assistants may have become, due to a variety of limitations they have yet to completely change the way we interact with our smartphones. But with the passage of time, personal assistants could become more relevant to smartphone users, and to prove this during a recent tech event in New Your City, Dag Kittlaus – one of the developers behind Apple’s Siri – took the veil off “Viv”, or what looks to be the most advanced personal assistant created to date.
During the TechCrunch Disrupt NYC event held yesterday in NYC, Dag Kittlaus unveiled “Viv”, a new artificial intelligence personal assistant designed to become “the intelligent interface for everything”. Dag Kittlaus held a rather lengthy and impressive demo on stage where he showcased some of the application’s features. Unsurprisingly, Viv is capable of answering a variety of basic questions not unlike other digital assistants, including queries about the weather and so on. However, what seems to really set Viv apart from all the other personal assistants is its ability to understand context, and thus answer unusual, complex questions, such as “Will it be warmer than 70 degrees near the Golden Gate Bridge after 5 PM the day after tomorrow?” Moreover, what really makes Viv a unique case is its ability to learn and write small programs all by itself. Unlike Siri or Google Now which redirect users to a web search whenever they can’t find an answer to a query, Viv is able to generate programs as soon as it understands the intent of the user. In fact, Viv was able to answer the aforementioned question regarding the weather near the Golden Gate Bridge after writing a 44-step program in a matter of nanoseconds. Dag Kittlaus calls this “dynamic program generation” and says that the technology represents a breakthrough in computing science.
Indeed, thanks to the assistant’s impressive artificial intelligence, Viv can be used not only for answering questions, but also for booking hotels, sending money as payments, place online orders and a whole lot more. Additionally, Viv aims to become the personal assistant of choice for tech enthusiasts regardless of what type of smartphone they use. The developers want Viv to be a truly multi-platform application, available not only on mobile devices but also on other types of gadgets and home appliances.