October 27, 2016

Samsung Buys Lab Founded By Siri Creators

Samsung Electronics Co. announced that it would buy the artificial intelligence company Viv Labs Inc.

Both Apple and Google have made big strides in consumer artificial intelligence with their Siri and Google Now services, respectively. So far, their competitors have lagged behind, but that may be changing. Samsung, which makes phones that typically use Google's Android software, is now looking to create its own artificial intelligence service.

According to the Wall Street Journal, this is the fourth time in two years that the South Korean electronics company has purchased an American technology firm, suggesting that it is making a serious push to compete with the many features available on high-end smartphones, such as the iPhone or Google's new Pixel line. This is particularly notable in light of the spontaneous combustion problems affecting the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, which is now being recalled worldwide. The company is in need of new products to retain customers and attract new ones.

Neither Samsung nor Viv have disclosed the specific details of the deal. In a post on Medium, Viv co-founder and CEO Dag Kittlaus wrote that the company wants to see AI move beyond simple apps to encompass more devices and be able to handle hundreds of more tasks. He added that Samsung's market reach makes it the best fit for this kind of partnership. 

"You will soon come to see the utter seriousness of Samsung's intentions," he said. "And like us, they aim to win."

Large tech companies can stay competitive by acquiring smaller firms that specialize in specific areas. It helps to work with a mergers and acquisition firm to get the best deal possible.