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SXSW

Meet Viv, The "Giant Brain" From The Creator Of Siri

The next-generation "giant brain," from Siri's creator, promises more intelligence than Apple's digital assistant.

[Illustration: Flickr user Double-M]

Move over, Siri. Dag Kittlaus, the creator of Apple's iconic virtual assistant, is working on a next-generation "global brain" called Viv that's said to be more intelligent and adaptable than Siri and her current competitors.

"Siri was chapter one, and now it’s almost like a new Internet age is coming," Kittlaus said in a talk at South by Southwest Interactive, according to a USA Today report. "Viv will be a giant brain in the sky."

Viv will be able to answer more complex queries, and learn over time based on the questions it's given, the company has said. In a discussion at SXSW with tech writer Steven Levy, who profiled the Viv team for Wired in 2014, Kittlaus said the app will be able to answer questions like "What’s the weather near the Super Bowl?" by first determining where the football game is taking place, then searching for weather reports, according to USA Today.

The title of the panel was "Will AI Augment or Destroy Humanity?" and Kittlaus is also working on a science fiction novel about an out-of-control AI bot, according to the report. Viv itself will be more tightly connected to the rest of the online world than Siri, with the company intending to support communication with the system through multiple devices and allowing third-party developers to connect their own services to Viv, according to a recent report in The Guardian. That sounds similar to how third-party companies can integrate with text chat tools like Slack, Facebook Messenger, and Telegram. Uber and online flower delivery service Florist One have already signed on, according to The Guardian.

Viv has declined to say when exactly the product will launch, though Kittlaus has said that 2016 will be a significant year for the company and implied that Viv will continue to grow smarter and more powerful after its launch.

"Viv is taught by the world, knows more than it is taught, and learns every day," according to the Viv website.

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