Samsung Dives Into AI with Viv Labs Buy


Samsung Electronics has taken a major step in the development and ownership of a unique, open artificial intelligence (AI) platform by acquiring Viv Labs for an undisclosed price.

Viv has developed such an AI platform, which gives third-party developers the ability to use and build conversational assistants, along with the integration of a natural language-based interface, into applications and services.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.

The deal puts Samsung closer to Apple in a true option to Siri. In a statement, the company said the deal “showcases Samsung’s commitment to virtual personal assistants” and is part of its broader vision to deliver “an AI-based open ecosystem” across all of its devices and services.

“With Viv, Samsung will be able to unlock and offer new service experiences for its customers, including one that simplifies user interfaces, understands the context of the user, and offers the user the most appropriate and convenient suggestions and recommendations,” the company said.

As RBR + TVBR‘s Weekly Tech Roundup recently reported, Samsung is the first manufacturer to be completely compatible across all carriers in the U.S. for the NextRadio app, developed by a subsidiary of by Emmis Broadcasting.

With the acquisition of Viv, the company’s founding team will continue to remain autonomously while now working closely with Samsung’s mobile communications business.

“Unlike other existing AI-based services, Viv has a sophisticated natural language understanding, machine learning capabilities and strategic partnerships that will enrich a broader service ecosystem,” said Injong Rhee, CTO of the Mobile Communications business at Samsung Electronics. “Viv was built with both consumers and developers in mind. This dual focus is also what attracted us to Viv as an ideal candidate to integrate with Samsung home appliances, wearables and more, as the paradigm of how we interact with technology shifts to intelligent interfaces and voice control.”

Translation: Samsung thinks it has a better version of Apple’s pioneering Siri on its hands.

In a statement, Samsung said, “With the rise of AI, consumers now desire an interaction with technology that is conversational, personalized and contextual—an experience that fits seamlessly within their everyday lives.” This explains its acquisition of Viv, as it’s platform “also allows developers to teach the system how to create new applications or to use existing applications, building an open ecosystem of intelligence that is greater than the sum of its parts and gets smarter every day.”


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