There has been a flurry of tech takeovers recently specifically targeting startups that focus on artificial intelligence. Google and Apple are leading the fray and it seems that Samsung is also joining the party.

The South Korean tech company has already agreed to purchase Viv Labs, a California-based startup, which focuses on developing intelligent interfaces that the company says can be applied to everything.

If the company does ring a bell to industry insiders, it is because Viv Labs created Siri before it was acquired by Apple. This bit of information, therefore, provides the ultimate insight as to what Samsung is trying to bake in its labs: its own sophisticated virtual assistant.

One should note that Samsung's acquisition announcement came a day after Google unveiled its Google Assistant, now embedded inside its new Pixel smartphones. Apple is also reportedly refining Siri with a series of acquisitions such as the machine-learning startup Tuplejump, that could improve the virtual assistant's capability to collect and analyze huge amounts of data.

"We have a unique opportunity to take advantage of AI, and show the rest of the industry what the smart, connected world can look like," Jacopo Lenzi, senior vice president of business development and strategic acquisitions at Samsung, said.

According to Recode, Viv Labs and the current team behind it will now work for Samsung. However, the terms of contract reportedly specify that it will operate independently, toiling away to perfect AI technologies that are interconnected in nature. Regardless of the setup, the output of the relationship is expected to complement Samsung's product line, which covers not only mobile devices but also other electronic products such as television and home appliances.

Viv Labs has already created Viv, a virtual assistant touted as a more powerful version of Siri. In a demonstration earlier this year, the AI was asked several complex and even bizaare questions and it gave specific and on-point answers.

Viv's advantage, particularly when compared with Siri, is the so-called stackability of inquiries, wherein follow-up questions can be handled without losing the train of context. In contrast, Siri only excels in short-term-memoried conversations. There are numerous other features to Viv and you can be sure that Samsung will take the first chance it can get to embed it into its next Galaxy smartphone.

"This will be the third true paradigm of the Internet age, a world decidedly 'beyond the app,'"  Dag Kittlaus, co-founder of Viv Labs, said.

There is no word yet about the cost of the startup's acquisition. But it will certainly be substantial especially considering that the estimated amount that Apple shelled for Siri ranges from $150 million to $250 million.

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