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Samsung to acquire U.S. artificial intelligence firm Viv Labs

All News 09:10 October 06, 2016

SEOUL, Oct. 6 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co. said Thursday it has agreed to acquire a U.S. artificial intelligence software developer, Viv Labs, joining a race to develop a digital assistant for smartphones and home appliances.

The Silicon Valley company was set up by the entrepreneurs who sold the Siri digital assistant to Apple Inc.

In a statement, Samsung said the deal showcases its "commitment to virtual personal assistants and is part of the company's broader vision to deliver an AI-based open ecosystem across all of its devices and services."

"With Viv, Samsung will be able to unlock and offer new service experiences for its customers, including one that simplifies user interfaces, understands the context of the user and offers the user the most appropriate and convenient suggestions and recommendations," the statement said.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Viv Labs was launched by artificial intelligence specialists -- Dag Kittlaus, Adam Cheyer and Chris Brigham.

"As part of the acquisition, the founding team will work closely with Samsung’s Mobile Communications business, but continue to operate independently under its existing leadership," Samsung said.

Rhee In-jong, chief technology officer of Samsung, said the company plans to install Viv's artificial intelligence system in its smartphones and home appliances.

"Viv was built with both consumers and developers in mind. 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," Rhee said in the statement.
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