Wouldn’t it be great to have your own personal assistant who would organise your life for you? This is certainly the thinking of Dag Kittlaus, CEO & Co-Founder of Viv Labs.
Dag’s team of engineers have been working on developing Artificial Intelligence to assist us in our everyday lives. Their hard work and dedication of the last year came to fruition in early 2016 when the first true test of this innovative technology, called Viv, was performed.
They asked a smartphone to order a pizza from his local pizza house. A text message appeared onscreen and asked “Would you like toppings with that?!” All 8 engineers started shouting various toppings that they wanted. “Pepperoni.” “Half cheese.” “BBQ sauce.” Encouraged by the result, they prompted Viv with more commands: Add more toppings. Remove toppings. Change medium to large.
40 minutes later, with only one hiccup when the office address was misunderstood, the pizza was delivered with four made-to order pizzas.
So what’s great about ordering pizza, I hear you ask? Well, they ordered food from start to finish without a phone call and without doing a google search. There was no typing nor did they have to download an app.
The aim for Viv is to radically simplify the world by providing an intelligent interface to everything. It’s the simplest way for the world to interact with devices and services everywhere. Viv is taught by the world of technology we live in, and will continue to learn each day.
“Instead of having to write every code instructed, you’re really just describing what you want it to do,” said Kittlaus. “The whole idea of Viv is that developers can go in and build any experience that they want.”
The key to Viv is natural language processing. It understands the consumer and interacts. Of course there are the comparisons to Apple’s Siri but what Viv has over Siri is accuracy. Viv is less about finding relevant search results or suggesting product and services, and more about actually having a conversation and thinking for itself.
Ironically, Kittlaus co-founded Siri in 2007. In the beginning Siri was supported on 45 services but Siri soon found a home on just iOS devices after Apple purchased the company for $200 million in 2010 and Siri was no longer developed to its full potential.
You may not realise it, but we already use artificial intelligence in our daily lives! If Facebook didn’t rank your News-Feed at all the experience wouldn’t be great in terms of updates and news. People probably wouldn’t interact with the social network as the updates might not be relevant to them. The goal of News-Feed is to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time so they don’t miss the stories that are important to them.
It is a similar story for advertisers, there are many millions of ads that are active on Facebook currently there are more than 2.5 million active advertisers. If ads were picked and shown at random, you would never engage with the ad.
Whilst this is an incredible development which will revolutionise the way we buy, use services and interact with the digital world, there are some things to be aware of. It’s purely advancement in technology. Developers will need to be mindful of Data Protection and Privacy Laws to make sure there are no infringements to consumer security.
And there will be questions over whether or not the tech giants such as Apple, Amazon and Google will assist with Viv’s education considering they each have their own voice operated systems.
Watch this space.