Coming: Viv, the AI assistant!
Bangalore, May 16 2016: For all their efficient answer-back, the Big Four digital chat assistants,( see imagwes above and description here ) can go thus far and no further when you want to buy or book something on the web. They can point you at available travel options or open a buy site. They can't -- yet-- do the deal.
That is not how it should be feels Dag Kittlaus, the man who created Siri. Four years ago, he left Apple, with many of his team and went into stealth mode to develop a new speaking product that would be assisted by large doses of Artificial Intelligence. That means you can buy things just by talking. If that sounds familiar, you're right. It is also the pitch made on behalf of chat bots. ( see our feature here)
At the TechCrunch conference in New York on May 9, Kittlaus and his team unveiled their new AI-enhanced voice assistant, Viv. It did something Americans related to: it took multiple orders shouted by different people for pizzas, with different toppings and sizes -- and 40 minutes later, the pizza guy had arrived. This is seen as a tectonic shift to a new age of conversational commerce. What's more, when launched, it will be the industry's first independent voice assistant -- any one can download it and use it with any device.
As they say, that'll be the day!
For a few days, we have a video on Viv in out Tech Video spot on the home page