Conversations with Viv – The New Open Source AI From Siri Creator
Later on today at 4:20 PM GMT a Norwegian named Dag Kittlaus will be explaining to the public at the Disrupt NY 2016 conference about his new ‘baby’ named Viv.
Dag Kittlaus, created Apple’s Siri back in 2007 while at the Stanford Research institute and went on to work with Apple for a number of years. In 2011 he left Apple to start his new brainchild “Viv” taking a third of the Apple Siri team with him.
Viv is the smarter younger sister or brother to Siri, the name itself is both masculine and feminine and, I assume, was chosen, as the latin name Vivianus is derived from the Latin vivus meaning: alive.
Dag and his team want Viv to be the new portal to the internet. Gone too will be the throwback input devices; keyboard and mouse, that is the dream anyway.
Viv is open source which means anybody can contribute to it, the good thing here is that the Open Source community attracts very bright, very motivated, free developers which can only be a plus for the creators.
“Viv hopes to be an AI that can do complex tasks by itself”, I am personally wary in referring to Viv as ‘it’ as the intelligence here seems quite complex.
So, what does she/he do?
Instead of manually searching online for tickets you could ask Viv conversationally to look for tickets for a show. Viv would not only search it out for you but would ask if you would like to purchase tickets. Not being done with this impressive display, Viv will then want to know what seats you would prefer and time etc before making the booking for you. Probably ask you if you enjoyed it too when you came home!
It sounds very impressive when you consider that you are having a conversation with software.
“Get me a pizza from Pizz’a Chicago near my office” was all the developers said to Viv when trialling her/him for the first time, there was a pause of around 30 seconds then Viv said, “What toppings do you want and how many pizzas?” and there was much jumping for joy. Viv had to redo address with the pizza company as it had been done incorrectly the first time, but sure enough a driver turned up with four made to order pizzas.
The engineers erupted in cheers as the pizzas arrived. They had successfully ordered pizza, from start to finish, without placing a single phone call and without doing a Google search — and no typing at all, actually. Moreover, they did it without downloading any apps.
Viv is among the furthest along in an endeavour that many in Silicon Valley believe heralds that next big shift in computing. When it comes to Silicon Valley, a seemingly small change in consumer behaviour or design can mean a massive shift in the commercial order, with ripple effects across the entire economy.