Thursday, May 5, 2016



“Get me a pizza from Pizz’a Chicago near my office,” one of the engineers said into his smartphone. It was their first real test of Viv, the artificial-intelligence technology that the team had been quietly building for more than year. [..] The engineers erupted in cheers as the pizzas arrived. They had ordered pizza, from start to finish, without placing a single phone call and without doing a Google search — without any typing at all, actually [..].

“It’s about taking the way that humans have naturally interacted with each other for thousands of years and applying that to the way they interact with services,” said Kittlaus, Viv's chief executive. “Everyone knows how to hold a conversation.”[..]

[D]espite apps growing into a $50 billion business, consumer enthusiasm for most new [smartphone] apps is waning, according to ComScore and the analytics company [..] “Little siloed chiclets, none of which speak to each other, living inside the walled gardens of rival app stores owned by Apple and Google,” said John Battelle, a Web entrepreneur and the chairman of digital-ad company Sovrn Holdings. Too much data used up, too many passwords to remember, too many useless notifications, concluded Dan Grover, product manager at WeChat [..]

Mobile users now spend 80 percent of their time in just five apps, according to 2015 data from Forrester [..]

Virtual assistants offer an alternative.