Samsung brings in founders of Apple’s Siri with ‘Viv’ startup acquisition

“Samsung Electronics Co. is acquiring Viv Labs Inc., a U.S.-based artificial-intelligence software company, seeking to bolster its expertise as smartphones become virtual assistants for complex tasks,” Jungah Lee reports for Bloomberg.

“The developers behind Viv also founded Siri, which was sold to Apple Inc. and became the voice-based digital assistant on iPhones and other gadgets. Viv has been working on an AI platform that understands plain language so that users can interact with computers and software programs,” Lee reports. “A Viv-based digital assistant will first appear on Samsung’s smartphones due out later next year, according to Rhee In-jong, executive vice president at Samsung.”

MacDailyNews Take: “Hey Viv, where’s the fire extinguisher?!”

Lee reports, “Viv, based in San Jose, California, would have been an attractive target for any other company looking for AI expertise, such as Google parent Alphabet Inc. or Microsoft Corp.”

MacDailyNews Take: Apple didn’t want Viv. Or they’d have it. The same goes for Google and Microsoft.

Lee reports, “Viv was designed as a software platform that other programmers could use to build conversational features into their products.”

MacDailyNews Take:

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This is the equivalent of buying Royal Crown Cola in order to try to compete with Amazon’s Dr. Pepper, Google’s Pepsi, and Apple’s Coke.

It’s a wannabe of a wannabe of a wannabe of Siri.

Viv has been trying to sell themselves for quite some time now. They finally settled for Samsung.

With SiriKit, Apple already has what Viv is trying to be.

Apple’s Siri digital assistant made Cortana look bad at WWDC – June 14, 2016


  1. As bad as Siri sucks, good luck.
    My new VWs built in voice recognition works better than Siri on CarPlay. For results, it still is not ready for Prime Time. Isn’t Clueless Ed Cue in charge of such things?

  2. A guy I know at Apple says there was no way Apple would have paid for these guys again. In Apples previous experience they found these guys super obnoxious and difficult to get on with. They were also itching to get over their vesting period so they could get away and start the same company over again. Which they did with viv. In the meantime, they were just passing time without making any further improvements to Siri while still at Apple.

  3. I saw the original Viv presentation. I was not impressed. I didnt see anything particularly new, and they looked somewhat unprepared and anxious. There was some “automatic anticipation” stuff in there, like making a reservation for something your were showing interest in…but that kind of ‘automatic’ stuff kind of scared me…looked very “hackable” to me.
    The whole presentation looked very ‘Samsung’ to me. Oh!, how prescient of me.

  4. A sense of nausea toward Dag Kittlaus has resulted from reading this fact. He can’t possible take his Viv project seriously if he’s sold it to Samsung. That’s the path of decay and death. Shameful.

    As to whether Apple can advance Siri into the full capability it deserves, I hope so! We shall see. The only way is up! Maybe Dag Kittlaus will head back that way and help out. It couldn’t hurt. Or maybe he’ll make another sort-of ‘AI’ and sell that one. Then another. Then everyone will figure out the gimmick and give up on his tripe.

  5. I still don’t understand, if Apple bought the intellectual property rights, and patents, etc., how Viv can even exist. The law is set up so that if you sell the rights to your product, you can’t go make the same product and sell the rights again.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.