The Path to Intelligence Everywhere
Why Viv is Joining Forces with Samsung
Today, I’m proud to announce Viv is joining Samsung.
It’s time to put this vision on fast forward.
Viv was born to build and proliferate the technology that will enable the next generation of virtual assistants. Four years ago we set out to create an intelligent interface to everything.
Our stated thesis was to open up the world of AI assistants to all developers. It was a straightforward idea, but not a straightforward path. Yet we were confident our approach would create a Cambrian explosion in capability that would dramatically increase the usefulness of AI for people everywhere.
Today’s undoubtedly useful, but ultimately limited assistant technologies must evolve. The next generation will be capable of doing not just a few dozen things for you, but hundreds and thousands of tasks, many of them comprised of multiple, complex steps.
Soon, we’ll all have a trusted assistant that is a regular part of our everyday lives. We deeply believe this to be true. This assistant will be as ubiquitous and important as the web browser or the mobile app.
If you can imagine such an assistant, you can also imagine how it will become the most powerful marketplace for content and commerce services. This will be the third true paradigm of the Internet age, a world decidedly “beyond the app.”
After nearly four years of development by one of the finest teams to ever work together in AI, Viv is well on our way to making our vision a reality. We’re enormously proud of how much we’ve achieved in so little time.
Over the past two years we have been flatteringly inundated by hundreds of interested partners willing and ready to jump onboard this vision with us. In order to permanently simplify our interactions with devices and services everywhere, we knew from day one ubiquity would be key. Viv needs to be a standard, it needs to be everywhere, and it needs to be integrated with everything.
Samsung will drastically accelerate our vision. For us, the glaringly obvious advantage Samsung brings to our vision is scale.
Samsung, as you surely know, is the market leader in smart devices across a wide range of use cases and industries. They ship 500 million devices a year. They also sell more smartphones and TVs than any other company in the world, not to mention a hundred million appliances, and their ambitious Virtual Reality product line. Their product mix naturally fits Viv’s “simplify your interactions through conversation.”
But those are just the obvious reasons.
Samsung is setting its sights on becoming a major player in software and services, and specifically AI. Samsung Pay has already proven to be one of the most successful mobile payment platforms in the market and SmartThings is another software acquisition signaling their conviction. And they have installed a new cadre of senior SW-savvy management stretching all the way to the top with a mission. You will soon come to see the utter seriousness of Samsung’s intentions. And like us, they aim to win.
With that in mind, we only had one final question.
In order for Viv to utilize the incredible scale Samsung offers, and in order to achieve our ultimate goal of redefining the way people interact with the digital landscape, it would be essential for Viv to be available across more than just Samsung devices. Our vision requires that Viv be everywhere.
Samsung is with us. We share a mutual vision to leapfrog the current state-of-the-art in AI, ushering in a new era.
Viv will live on as an independent subsidiary of Samsung, able to both meaningfully integrate intelligence across a wide variety of products at scale in ways never before seen, and eventually fulfill the vision of the “everywhere assistant” as a major paradigm in its own right.
Ultimately however, this is not about what Viv gets, or what Samsung gains. This is now about a paradigmatic leap beyond everything that is available today, for everyone. This is just the beginning. It is a new line of thought. The age of single, vertical, hard-coded intelligence is over, and an era of flexible, vastly more capable, welcoming AI is set to begin.
I know that many of you can’t wait to try Viv in the wild, and we can’t wait either. The road ahead of us is not trivial, but today we are more optimistic than ever that we will be able to accomplish the original goals we set out. Assistants are about to accelerate in a big way, showcasing on Samsung devices everywhere.
Thank you for all of your support over the years. We’re all lucky, and enormously grateful.