Nivedit Majumdar Nivedit Majumdar

VIV and Artificial Intelligence: Revolutionising Tech Interactions

When Apple decided to incorporate a virtual assistant in its iPhones from the 4S onwards, it was one of the first steps to bring AI to the masses. Here was a true revolutionary product, which radically changed the way we searched for things or performed basic functions.

And Siri paved the way for more software based assistants – Google Now, Cortana, Assistants on BlackBerry and Xiaomi and a host of third party applications have made us literally ‘interact’ with our phones and devices: in a way, blurring the line between machine and living being.

In this article, I’ll be talking about Artificial Intelligence and concepts akin to it. I’ll also be discussing in depth about something called Viv, which is on the roads of being the next best thing in technology.

AI: EXPLAINED

Now I won’t delve into all the theoretical aspects of Artificial Intelligence, it is quite interesting to note the correlation of AI and its related fields.

The most common fields that work hand in hand with Artificial Intelligence are mainly Machine Learning and Data Mining, all of which are derived from the concept of Statistics.

While statistics involves organizing, summarizing and coming up with results from the data that has been collected, machine learning takes it a step further to apply complex algorithms to actually ‘learn’ and store the statistics, and accordingly produce results. These self-learning algorithms are more often than not generic and can be applied to various domains.

Coming to data mining now, it is the practice of applying the complex algorithms from machine learning, along with data related to a particular domain, to solve specific problems.

Artificial Intelligence takes everything to a higher level altogether. It takes into consideration statistics, machine learning and data mining and presents it to the user in the form of an interface. This interface is more often than not designed in the form of human interactions, so that they can study a command from the user and respond in real time.

While all this might seem slightly intimidating to a newbie, it is quite an interesting affair really. Data analytics is a booming field, and the interdependencies between Statistics, Machine Learning and Data Mining form the driving force behind big data analytics and contextual applications such as our very own Instant.

emberify_survey_united_stated_businesses_use_data_analytics
(Data Source: Statista)

HOW VIV IS GOING TO TURN THINGS AROUND

Back in August last year, the co-creators of Siri left Apple to develop something bigger in the field of AI. And this led to the formation of Viv Labs, which works on virtual assistant software which aims at changing the way we interact with our devices.

Viv makes a few interesting (and very important) tweaks to AI. Besides the usual norms of machine learning, Viv also has a dedicated codebase which interprets the question with the help of keywords, make connections over services and apps and even generate code on the go.

How is it different? Well, look at it this way. For Siri and Google Now, you had to give one command at a time. “Do this”. “Call her”. “Look this up”. “What’s the weather like?”

Viv adds more dimensions to the algorithm, which enables you to give complicated commands and not turn up a dead end. It can be explained better by this flowchart.

emberify_viv_flowchart
(Source: Wired.com’s article on VIV)

 

All in all, Viv presents a more innovative way of running a search or performing tasks. It promises to change the way software is built, and the way we interact with machines.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF IT ALL

Artificial Intelligence, and especially what Viv aims at accomplishing, raises the bar for technology in general. We’re already heading into an era where The Internet of Things will be prevalent everywhere, and the developments in AI will prove to be the game changing factor in this scenario.

Disclaimer: I’m a big fan of Iron Man. Apart from being a badass superhero, he’s also a brilliant inventor. And according to me, his best creation is Jarvis, the AI assistant which practically has a mind of its own.

 

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