The heart of tech is coming to the heart of the Mediterranean. Join TNW in València this March 🇪🇸

This article was published on May 9, 2016

‘Viv’ is a next-gen AI assistant that runs circles around Siri, Alexa and Cortana

‘Viv’ is a next-gen AI assistant that runs circles around Siri, Alexa and Cortana
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

One of the brains behind Apple’s iconic digital assistant Siri, Dag Kittlaus, took to the stage today at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC to show off his new project, Viv — an AI assistant that aims to be “the intelligent interface for everything.”

The 20-minute demo wowed the audience with a real-time demonstration of some really impressive capabilities. What started with simple questions about the weather turned into some truly complex inquiries like:

“Will it be warmer than 70-degrees near the Golden Gate Bridge after 5pm the day after tomorrow?”

Viv delivered the answer in a matter of seconds, and correctly handled numerous oddly specific questions that followed, as well as ordering flowers, sending money as payment for drinks the previous night and even booking a hotel in under 60 seconds.

Throughout the demo, the AI assistant demonstrated a profound understanding of context and intent as Kittlaus rapid-fired commands in natural language.

What makes Viv different is in its desire to be truly multi-platform. The team wants Viv to run not just on all mobile devices (no matter the platform), but to tackle home hardware, appliances and other gadgets with its always-listening interface, a la Amazon’s ‘Alexa.’

Additionally, the program is always learning. Rather than handle inquiries with pre-built sets of defined functions, Viv has the ability to create programs out of thin air to complete commands that may not fit the pre-defined mold. This is a stark contrast to Siri, which defaults to a Web search when it doesn’t understand — or can’t find — an answer.

The demo was, in a word, impressive. No word on when we might start seeing it in our devices.