Wednesday 2 November 2016

Samsung Electronics to Acquire Artificial Intelligence Firm Viv


Samsung Acquiring US AI Platform Developer Viv Labs Inc

Recently the tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd had mentioned that it will be acquiring U.S. artificial intelligence – AI platform developer Viv Labs Inc. which is a firm run by co-creator of Apple Inc’s Siri voice assistant programme. Samsung had specified in a statement that it intends to integrate the AI platform of San Jose based company known as Viv, into the Galaxy smartphones and develop voice-assistant services to home appliances together with wearable technology devices.

The financial terms had not been disclosed. In order to make artificial intelligence adequately good in enabling consumers to interact with their devices much more naturally especially through voice, the technology firms have been locked in an increasingly heated race.

 Alphabet Inc’s Google has been considered to be the leader in AI though there are others such as, Apple and Microsoft who have also launched their own offerings comprising of voice-powered digital assistant.Samsung being the top smartphone maker in the world is also eager to differentiate its devices from phones to fridges by combining AI.

The achievement of Viv could benefit the Korean firm showing its effectiveness when the Google’s new Pixel smartphones equipped with the U.S. firm’s voice powered digital assistant tends to threaten Samsung together with the other smartphone manufacturers who seem to be mainly dependent on the Android operating platform.

Teach System in Creating New Apps

Samsung’s executive vice president, Rhee In-jong informed Reuters in an interview that Viv brings in a very unique technology enabling them to have an open system where any third party service and content providers could add their services to our devices’ interfaces. Rhee stated that Samsung needs to really revolutionise how its devices operate, moving in utilising voice instead of touch and that they cannot innovate using only in-house technology.

The chief executive of Viv and co-founder Dag Kittlause, a Siri co-creator together with other top managers at the firm would be continuing in managing the business independently after the acquisition. Rhee also informed Reuters that Samsung would continue in looking for acquisitions to strengthen its AI together with the other software capabilities without mentioning any targets. Viv’s AI platform enables developers to teach the system in creating new apps or to utilising the prevailing one and build an open ecosystem of intelligence.

Envisaging Future Beyond Apps

Kittlaus had mentioned in a statement that at Viv they are building the simplest system to talk to devices and services everywhere. They are envisaging a future which is beyond apps where one could get what they need instantly and easily irrespective of where they could be or what device is nearby.

Analyst at Edison Investment Research Richard Windsor told IBTimes UK that Viv is very good at interpreting and understanding natural speech and understands context with regards to earlier asked questions. It can unravel multi-part complex questions. If this tends to work as advertised, it would be better at natural language than Google Assistant.

Viv runs everything in the cloud which means the dislocation of the phones on Android of Samsung and everything else on Tizen could be less of an issue than what is at present. But this has placed Samsung in a position to compete directly against Google whose focus is to have its Google Assistant front and centre of every Samsung Android device according to Windsor.

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