Siri's creator to demo new AI product this week

While Siri is able to answer a lot of questions and provide iOS users with a tremendous amount of information and assistance, it's not really "intelligent" in that it can't put data together unless it was specifically programmed to do a task. The co-founder of Siri, Dag Kittlaus, will be demonstrating a new artificial intelligence product at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2016 later this week, and that product -- Viv -- melds data sources with AI algorithms to give you answers about just about anything.

Viv won't be tied to a single platform; instead, Kittlaus and the rest of the Viv Labs team expect to license it to any device manufacturer who wants to give it a try. Viv could be in smartphones, TVs, tablets, cars, or basically anything connected to the internet.

In a Q&A that Kittlaus provided to me and Erica Sadun for the third edition of our book Talking to Siri, he noted that "there is no limit to what these types of systems will do in the coming few years." Viv is apparently what he had in mind when we asked him. He founded Viv Labs in 2012, two years before the book was published. 

Siri has to be asked a specific question in order to provide an answer, but can't answer complex questions like "What's the temperature in the city where Tim Cook was born?" Viv can take very complicated questions by parsing a sentence spoken to it, then automatically generating a program that links information sources together. Viv writes its own code to accomplish its tasks, and it does it in a fraction of a second.

If Viv is missing information needed to get an answer, it will ask the user for the info and then learns that user's profile. To see how at a high level how Viv works, take a close look at the infographic from Wired below.