Samsung Acquires AI Startup, Joins Personal Assistant War

Samsung joins the software game by purchasing Viv Labs.

There will come a day when we will all have our own personal Jarvis. The fictional smarthouse AI, developed by Tony Stark, meant to help assist us in every day life has become closer and closer to a reality in 2016. The next step in that progression is through perfecting the personal assistant AI that lives in our mobile devices. All of the major OS developers have their own version, and  Samsung is the latest to hop on the bandwagon. This week, the explosive hardware company joined in on the assistant race by acquiring the startup Viv Labs.

Viv Labs began in 2012, founded by Dag Kittlaus, Adam Cheyer, and Chris Brigham. Kittlaus and Cheyer developed the quick-quipping artificial intelligence, Siri, acquired by Apple a couple years before; and Brigham worked for Siri early on. These three “Siri”ously talented developers continued their AI quest by starting Viv. They even raised tens of millions in investment capital to bolster their product.

Samsung stated that while the software R&D will work closely with their hardware and devices, it will remain independent as well.

The war rages on.

This assistant war has found fresh battleground as Google recently unveiled their simply named “Assistant.” It is a baked-in AI in their new devices that assists with (according to Google) everything. It combines their existing “Ok Google” voice activation and Google Now to put the power of Google’s software suite in your hands. This was Google’s response to Amazon’s Alexa released earlier this year. Alexa is domesticated; built to be an in-home device, not mobile (yet). It pulls from Amazon’s resources and relies on apps, online purchases, personal preferences, and Prime membership to operate effectively.

These do not exclude the players that have been in the game for awhile now. Apple’s Siri has become iconic for its witty remarks. Window’s Cortana is a valiant effort at AI integrated into your desktop as well as your Windows mobile experience. And, of course, the original Assistant, from BlackBerry, that takes the efficiency of BlackBerry 10 and kicks it up a notch by enabling voice control and allowing omni-directional searching through the internet, device, or whatever else the user has connected.

So, here’s a question, readers, which AI have you found most intuitive and helpful?




Erica Davis

Erica is a BlackBerry fanatic, supporter, and uses BlackBerry devices exclusively. She likes to connect the dots, fit the pieces together, and showcase the overshadowed... oh, and she likes cookies.