Kittlaus and Cheyer have been working on this AI for over four years. The key difference between Viv and Siri is that it is built on an open platform. Siri can perform a very limited set of tasks, which most often boils down to either controlling the functions of the phone (set an alarm, remind me to buy milk), or searching for information on Google. In this sense, Viv is much closer to Amazon 's Alexa or bots in Facebook Messenger, that is, it knows how to communicate with third-party systems and devices. Microsoft is creating something similar now.
The creators demonstrated the capabilities of Viv during a twenty-minute demo. The range of tasks that artificial intelligence can perform is much wider than that of any of the existing analogues. Context recognition in Viv was taken to a new level: the program almost instantly answered the question whether the weather the day after tomorrow after five in the evening will be warmer than 20 degrees Celsius.
If you ask Viv to send flowers to his mom, the AI will automatically contact a popular (or verified) flower vendor, display available ready-made bouquets, and order them to the desired address on his own - where your mom lives, Viv knows in advance.
And if you instruct her to find a taxi for six people - from the office to, say, a shopping center - Viv will open Uber and order a car that fits the size. You do not need to specify the address - the AI already knows where you work and where the desired shopping center is located.
Doug Kittlaus, CEO and co-founder of Viv Labs, at work in San Jose, California © Getty / The Washington Post
Viv's open source code allows developers to embed it in their programs and applications, as well as “teach” it new functions. As conceived by the creators, Viv should become a universal platform, and access to it can be obtained from any device, be it a PC, smartphone, tablet or on-board computer in the car. It is not yet known when Viv will appear in our smartphones.>