Before she was the voice of the iPhone, Siri was made by a relatively small AI team. After Apple, a few members of the Siri team broke off to go back to operating an independent company. They ended up making a new, next-generation interconnected AI called Viv, and today, Samsung announced that they are now acquiring Viv. The move isn’t terribly surprising, since Samsung has recently made efforts to distinguish their own TouchWiz devices from the rest of the Android crowd, and have been putting serious work into their Tizen OS. Should Tizen take off, after all, Samsung would essentially be another Apple; tightly connected hardware and software, both made by the same entity from start to finish.
Unlike most AI out there these days, Viv can improve itself at a core level without human input, and can connect seamlessly with almost any other systems. Whereas most AI require an API from their creators and implementation by services they want to interact with, Viv can connect with almost any other app or service without any further input. Another thing Viv can do without input, taking machine learning to a new and highly experimental level, is code itself. When Viv determines that it needs to do something it hasn’t done before, it can write new code to support that function. Viv founder Dag Kittlaus calls this function “dynamic program generation”, saying that a user describing what they want Viv to do will be sufficient to set it off, and quite possibly result in entirely new code being written by Viv itself.
With Samsung being one of the top hardware makers out there, the creators of Viv decided to green-light a deal with them in order to achieve ubiquity, which had reportedly been a goal of the company for some time. Having its own AI, especially one so advanced, will help Samsung to stay competitive in the face of tough competition like the Pixel devices and the iPhone 7, and perhaps even flesh out Tizen or a new software altogether for mass deployment. For now, Viv will continue to operate independently, but will provide their products, support and services to Samsung.