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Say What Now? Samsung Buys Into AI Assistants With Viv

Samsung is trying to fast-track its way into the Artificial Intelligence (AI) assistant game by buying Viv Labs, the startup launched by the founders of Siri.

Samsung Corp. revealed Wednesday evening that it is buying San Jose, Calif.-based Viv. The company was started in 2012 by Adam Cheyer, Chris Brigham and Dag Kittlaus, who had previously formed Siri and then sold it to Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) in 2010. (See Small Bites for Apple and App Focus: Apple’s Siri.)

Samsung is expecting to use the Viv technology across smartphones, wearables, smart home devices and more. "Viv was built with both consumers and developers in mind," said Injong Rhee, CTO of the mobile communications business at Samsung. "This dual focus is also what attracted us to Viv as an ideal candidate to integrate with Samsung home appliances, wearables and more, as the paradigm of how we interact with technology shifts to intelligent interfaces and voice control."

See more from Rhee below:

It has already been a big week for mobile AI. On Tuesday, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) introduced its new Pixel smartphone centered around its own Digital Assistant. (See Google's New Dream: Pixel, VR & an AI Assistant With Smarts.)

Indeed, Apple, Facebook , Google, and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) are all spending hard cash to try deliver an AI digital assistant that will resonate with users. (See Microsoft Bets Big on AI Future.)

Samsung didn't reveal how much it is paying for the startup. Viv has reportedly pulled in $30 million in venture funding. Apple is said to have paid around $200 million for Siri in 2010.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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