Shortly after being purchased by Apple, two of Siri's founders left the company to begin creating yet another AI assistant. It's called Viv, and The Washington Post reports that it'll be unveiled to the world on Monday.
Viv is essentially meant to be Siri, but good. It's an AI assistant that you speak to, but the difference here is that Viv is supposed to be able to handle complex requests and actually carry them out. The idea is that you could ask Viv to book you dinner and a movie, and it would just go ahead and do it. Siri, on the other hand, would make you ask those questions one at a time and then kick you over to OpenTable and Fandango to make your purchases.
A lot of companies are trying to build a better Siri
To make all of that work, Viv Labs is partnering with outside companies to let its AI tap into their services. GrubHub, Uber, Zocdoc, and SeatGuru are among Viv's 50-or-so launch partners, according to the Post. Through those services, you'll be able to ask Viv to call you a cab or order you food.
All of that sounds good — that's the dream of Siri, right? — but there's a lot of reason to be skeptical until Viv Labs shows its assistant in action. Viv's abilities sound a lot like what Amazon has been building out with Alexa; they also sound pretty similar to the chatbot functionality that Facebook announced for Messenger last month. There are already a ton of digital assistants trying to be the "good Siri," and we've seen one pretty good one already.
Viv Labs' ultimate goal is to get its AI inside of tech everywhere. Rather than selling out to a single company like Siri did (the Post reports that Google and Facebook have already made offers), Viv's founders want their new assistant to get inside of TVs, cars, and all kinds of connected devices. Wired touched on some of these aspirations during an early look at Viv in 2014. It's likely that we'll find out soon where Viv will be popping up first, be it an app or outside hardware.