BROOKLYN, NEW YORK — Siri’s cofounder gave the public its first look at Viv, the artificial intelligence-powered digital assistant that aims to lap rivals with its understanding of human conversation.
Dag Kittlaus took the stage at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference here to demonstrate his latest creation. Viv aims to go beyond — and take on — Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana and the voice inside Google.
Kittlaus is CEO of San Jose, Calif.-based Viv Labs and if he can pull off its bold vision, Viv (pronounced Viv as in Vivian) will be a personalized assistant that will be available to you on any device and powered by every service. The idea is that you’ll be able to talk to Viv as naturally as if you were speaking to another person, and you’ll use your voice to order flowers or summon an Uber, which Kittlaus showed off during his demonstration.
The goal is to “open up the ecosystem where this world of assistants that we’re used to today that have several dozen capabilities now has an opportunity to explode to hundreds of thousands and tens of thousands of times the number of capabilities that some of today’s assistants have,” he said in an interview after leaving the TC Disrupt stage.
“We think the key to that is having a third party platform where anyone can add to the experience.”Kittlaus believes that AI today is in a similar stage to where his old employer at Apple was when it first launched the App Store.