Thursday, May 05, 2016

Siri’s creators say they’ve made something better that will take care of everything for you - The Washington Post

Excerpt from a profile of Viv, which will have its first public demonstration next Monday

"That wasn’t how it was supposed to be, Kittlaus said. The original Siri wasn’t supposed to be a clever AI chatbot. The goal was to reinvent mobile commerce itself. When it initially launched as an independent app in 2010, Siri could buy tickets, reserve tables and summon a taxi — all the while bypassing search pages and without a user having to open or download another app. She was able to siphon data from 42 Web services, including Yelp, StubHub, OpenTable and Google Maps.

But nearly all of the partnerships were dissolved once Apple took over. To build them, Kittlaus had essentially gone door-to-door to various tech companies asking for permission to connect to their stores of proprietary data. Kittlaus and Cheyer, who became close with Apple's Steve Jobs before his death in 2011, will not discuss what happened beyond this from Kittlaus: “Steve had some ideas about the first version, and it wasn’t necessarily aligned with all the things that we were doing.” Kittlaus quietly left Apple the following year. A third of the original Siri engineering team members, including Cheyer, eventually followed him and are now building Viv."
Siri’s creators say they’ve made something better that will take care of everything for you - The Washington Post
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