Tags: Siri | Viv | AI | system

Siri Inventors Creating New Artificial Intelligence System

Wednesday, 13 Aug 2014 12:08 PM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Move over Siri, here comes Viv.

The inventors of Siri are on the verge of building an advanced form of artificial intelligence with limitless capabilities, according to Wired.

While the intelligent assistant known as Siri can only perform tasks given by Apple’s iPhone engineers, a small team of technology experts at a startup called Viv Labs are working on a program that will be able to teach itself.

They believe that eventually their system will employ the personal preferences of users and a near-infinite web of connections to answer almost any question and perform nearly every function, just by the user speaking to it, Wired reported.

"Siri is chapter one of a much longer, bigger story," Dag Kittlaus, one of Viv’s co-founders, told Wired. The other co-founders are Adam Cheyer and Chris Brigham. All helped to create Siri.

Viv Labs, also known as Viv and based in San Jose, California, has been secretly working on the project for two years. The handful of outsiders who have received a glimpse into the technology are wowed.

"The vision is very significant," Oren Etzioni, an AI expert who heads the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, told Wired. "If this team is successful, we are looking at the future of intelligent agents and a multibillion-dollar industry."

Viv is just one of several companies hoping to take a slice of that market. In fact, the hectic race for artificial intelligence with endless possibilities has resulted in Internet giants grabbing AI startups and top-notch engineers.

Google Inc. recently paid a reported $500 million for the British deep-learning company DeepMind and has enticed AI legends Geoffrey Hinton and Ray Kurzweil to its headquarters in Mountain View, California. Facebook Inc. also has its own deep-learning group, headed by brilliant Yann LeCun from New York University, according to Wired.

"Their goal is to build a new generation of AI that can process massive troves of data to predict and fulfill our desires," wrote Wired’s Stephen Levy.

Viv, which is hoping to become the industry leader by producing the first consumer-friendly super assistant, plans to have its program installed in various Internet-connected devices.

The founders believe that one day its AI will be able to connect with "a global brain," which can help power a million different apps and devices, Wired said.

"I’m extremely proud of Siri and the impact it’s had on the world, but in many ways it could have been more," Cheyer told Wired. "Now I want to do something bigger than mobile, bigger than consumer, bigger than desktop or enterprise. I want to do something that could fundamentally change the way software is built."

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