Samsung has been conspicuously silent as other big platforms like Apple, Google, and Microsoft have made announcement after announcement about artificial intelligence and voice-based personal assistants this year. That seems to have changed with the big news today that Samsung has acquired Viv Labs, the AI firm run by the same people who created Apple’s personal digital assistant, Siri.
Viv has created a voice-based digital assistant that can guide a user through a conversation that leads to a purchase. The assistant can actually make the purchase without requiring the user to go out to an app to close the deal. Viv may be unique in the field of virtual assistants for having done the legwork of connecting the assistant with retailers and product information in the background.
Samsung is likely to build the Viv product into its various devices (phones, watches, TVs, refrigerators, etc.) so that users can talk to their devices instead of tapping on touch screens. “We have a unique opportunity to take advantage of AI, and show the rest of the industry what the smart, connected world can look like,” said Samsung VP Jacopo Lenzi in an interview.