Viv AI demo blows Siri and Google Now out of the water

Viv AI demo blows Siri and Google Now out of the water
Last week, we let you know that there was a demo planned for a new AI virtual assistant called Viv from the team that originally built Siri. In the most basic terms, Viv is a voice assistant that understands natural language and complex commands, but looks to extend its functionality tremendously through third-party integration.

The team showed off Viv at TechCrunch Disrupt today, and the demo looks pretty amazing. Even in a controlled setting, Viv could understand complex queries and showed off some cool third-party options. Just like any other voice assistant, you could ask about the weather, but the demo showed the power of the language understanding with a couple questions you would likely never ask like "Was it raining in Seattle three Thursdays ago?" and "Will it be warmer than 70 degrees near the Golden Gate Bridge after 5PM the day after tomorrow?" That alone was pretty impressive, but the integration with third party apps looks like the real game-changer. 

Viv was shown off with capabilities to send money to someone through Venmo, order flowers through Pro Flowers, drill down within search results, and book hotels. The entire demo was done on an iPhone and we still haven't gotten an answer as to whether the app will come to Android, but it seems like it will. 

In many ways, Viv is like the new chatbots from Facebook or Microsoft, but voice-powered. Or, it could be compared to a mobile version of Amazon's Alexa. Either way, it's very interesting tech that could be very useful in the future. Unfortunately, we still don't know when to expect the app. Right now, the team is focused more on bringing in developers to add functionality (so, fair warning, some of the video below gets bogged down in technical details.) Overall though, we can't wait to see more from Viv and see how others like Siri and Google Now respond.

source: TechCrunch



1. Mxyzptlk unregistered

I think Siri is much more practical overall.

2. ToastedBacon21

Posts: 47; Member since: Oct 18, 2015

and why would that be??

3. Vanliewn

Posts: 65; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Because he's a fan of why else?

11. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

He doesn't know. He is the man of blanket statements. You can adlib everything he says with one sentence..."everything made by Apple is the best".

25. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Lol that's funny coming from you. You act like Samsung is the greatest.

36. tedkord

Posts: 17463; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Because Apple, of course.

4. BattleBrat

Posts: 1476; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

Siri is worthless, Google now is good, but this sounds epic!

21. bucky

Posts: 3794; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

I dont think Siri is worthless at all. I use Siri everyday actually.

10. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Of course you would. Wouldn't expect anything less. You think Apple has the best approach to everything, even when they don't.

27. Mxyzptlk unregistered

You mean like you do with Samsung?

17. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

MXyzptlk so you tried the final product even if its not ready yet? There is two class of Apple user. ISheep like you and normal user. Sadly iSheep like you give a bad image to all apple user.

26. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Attention salty comments, it's MY opinion so please get over it.

37. rubertus

Posts: 57; Member since: Oct 07, 2014

Viv is from the guys that created Siri, which Apple bought(the app). They have now created something new that super-seeds Siri, Cortana, Dragon Mobile Assistant, Google Now in many ways. Even Hound. which is nice.

5. Vanliewn

Posts: 65; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I'm loving this. I hope the other assistants take some notes on this. (looking at you Microsoft)

13. krystian

Posts: 423; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

Out of the 3 currently available Cortana is definitely the best from my own experience. I'm sure each has their own strengths. I think that MS has a big opportunity and hope they have some better plans for it.

6. TerryTerius unregistered

Between this and hound, it's awesome seeing voice assistants having their usability expanded. And yeah, it does make you curious about how Google and Apple will respond. But it does make me wonder… Throwing people at a problem doesn't necessarily give you a better solution. I wonder if there is a reason that smaller outfits or lone individuals seem to make more breakthroughs (or larger advancements) than enormous corporations with all the money in the world?

14. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

The reason the smaller outfits do better is, because they aren't drivien by money. Siri was a rush job of something Apple bought. yet they didn't fully understand and Siri now does exactly what it did when it was an app. It really has nothing new. Its just been more rolled into the UI. I don't even use Siri or Google now. I find just doing my own searches with typing them outs lands me better results. Google Now comes in handy when I am driving and I need directions or something. This is one useless gimmick that I keep turned off.

18. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Kind of like my moto assistant. Its cover all lil thing google now dont do well and blend with google now when its superior. Love it. Love my OK moto phrase thats wake up my phone ready to take command even if screen closed.

22. TerryTerius unregistered

I would disagree with you about voice assistants being useless. I use Google now all the time, and although I use Siri every now and then it annoys me because it isn't as accurate as Google now in terms of understanding speech. At least not in my experience, and I'm far from being some unintelligible moron. But, they could certainly have their use expanded. I've been using Hound a lot recently, and it absolutely blows Siri, Cortana, and Google now away.

24. AlikMalix unregistered

Terry you're like to know your input. VA became important to me - you realize that when you lack Internet and it doesn't work right how much more work it is to do task vs using a VA. So can hound be used for more than just searching complex questions about stuff you find on the net. I use Siri for all the reminders, to email, to text, to call (if theres no one I contact list that I asked Siri to call - she pulls from he internet "call San Francisco metro fire district office" for example, or call "The closest Home Depot". I tried hound, but I honestly didn't find it to be more useful than Siri or Google now. It made nearly same errors as the other two because of my accent, but unlike GN and Siri it's not integeaded so you have to go into the app instead of just hold the home button or say "hey siri". Does hound have an integeaded depository that you can input info regarding places you shop, people you know, and things it must remember so you can refer to it for more info on demand? The times I tried it, it was just better a little bit in contextual input and that's it. When it comes to doing tasks it felt limited. Maybe I didn't give it enough chance.

32. TerryTerius unregistered

It cannot, but that has more has to do with Apple not wanting to give the kind of system access needed for that functionality to work, and it's a similar story with Android. Just as you said. You can call or text, but not set reminders and appointments. And of course, it doesn't have anything like now on tap available. But I will give you an example. I had a friend of my named Vikki coming into town from Las Vegas for the weekend. And so I told hound to find four-star hotels that cost less than $270 a night on the west side of Atlanta. It pulled that search up with no problem whatsoever. I can't replicate anything like that with Google now or Siri. Or helping me calculate the nutrients in a meal, or other really specific questions. And of course, there's the contextual stuff as well. That is what makes it so much more useful. I can ask more specific questions than Google or Siri, and I don't have to word my queries as carefully. Of course, the systems part of it is still restricted, but I'm not sure how much they can do to change that. We shall see.

33. AlikMalix unregistered

That's exactly what I though. I'll give it a second try - and use it for mainly Internet related info. I need VA to be a task handler first and info search second. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

7. oozz009

Posts: 520; Member since: Jun 22, 2015

Well, it might seems nice and all but it's still just a demo, it doesn't even have a voice. Besides lots of what it can do now, Siri will also be very likely to be able to do once iOS 10 is released in the fall! For example, it is already being rumoured that iOS 10 will include its own built-in "money sending system" via text (iMessage for example). If assume this is true, well, Apple, will surely also add the capability to ask Siri: "Hey Siri, send 20$ to Adam" just like they asked Viv to do. Also, android N will also improve its own GoogleNow, hence everything is happening at the same time. Ergo, there is nothing really to exciting about Viv except that it show a glimpse of what's to come in the other inteligent assistants.

9. AlikMalix unregistered

See, I vividly remember Hound being demonstrated - but several months after it was up for download - was not that impressed. Google now has its limitations and so does Siri. There's definitely room for more abilities that seem like they shouldn't be so hard to implement - but I use Siri nearly 50% of my needs and it can do 85% of what smartphones can do (it doesn't play games and write invoices though). But the more power to voice assistants they give the faster they're going to take over my device. I'll leave my praise and criticize until I see it working on my device. So far hound did not live up to its hype.

19. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

You : Hey Siri send 20$ to Adam. Siri : Cannot proceed as Adam not using an iOS product. Oh well...

30. AlikMalix unregistered

Marorun, true, but it really depends who you're surrounded with. For example - android users are the minority among friends and specially family - here everyone is on iOS. And the android users are the ones left out - and the ones that do use android - use different manufacturers so they can't even use all the android features between their phones. Like I said, I agree that Apple does stick to their own platform, but because most here use iOS - it really fonts feel like iOS users are a minority. I can't wait for ApplePay integration into iMessage. Further pushing android users to use yet another third party for what is integeaded on iOS. I upvoted your comment because you didn't call me an isheep or something derigatory as usual - and because I agree that Apple needs to "cross platform" all their features - as I know many would love a few of apples features (not you of course, but I know other people).

8. oozz009

Posts: 520; Member since: Jun 22, 2015

Ooh yes, and of course let's not forget Cortana! A lovely assistant that she is :)

15. AlikMalix unregistered

Cortanas best advertised feature was the depository where you can input information about where you shop and work and w/e. Which Siri had since I can remember - information you add under yourself in contact info (and others) will be used by Siri to properly navigate you, set location based reminders, learn assosiciations, and whatever else you need Siri to know about you. I can also ask Siri to search Bing instead of Google, and just recently Google now added relations to names which allows you to " call my brother" type of commands which also was Siris feature. Google now has the ability to guess your needs which is great if you work I the same location and come home the same time every day - but this is worthless when you're a contractor. But if I'm on the same project for more than 3 days Siri begins to suggest how long it will take to get to work in the mornings. But I don't stay on project for more than 30 days. Contextual commends based on Igor given previously works great with Siri, which was hounds best advertised feature - that's why I found hound to be "meh". The biggest strong point for Siri is the ability to take commands in other languges. - I'm from Easter Europe and Siri is really really good at that, either dictating or making commands. I would ask for one improvement from these assistants - international names (non American names) are the weak points for these VAs unless you switch to the native language. That should be set as universal. Any ways - well see how well VIV is - but it'll have to be extreemly better for me to switch from something that awfully integrated into the ecosystem like Siri, cortana, and Gnow.

20. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Google now work 100% in more language than Siri btw. Been using it in french as its my first language.

23. AlikMalix unregistered

Oh I'm not going to disagree - Google does have more languages. Siri does have French. But I'm not lying to you - every language I have tried (I have lots clients and I love showing them what Siri can do when they have iPhones - especially on their native language) Japanese, Chinese, Russian, French, Spanish and others. I haven't had any Dutch/German people to ask yet. But so far I'm impressed by results. I upvoted you because what you said is true and you didn't use the typical android fanboy words "sheep, useless, some gay reference, years behind", and other mumbo-jumbo...

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