Nokia's Answer To Siri Might Be Named Viki

By Holly Brockwell on at

There's already a battle raging between the big virtual assistants: Siri, Google Now, Cortana and Alexa have been locked in a database arms race to become the one virtual butler we all want to talk to. But as with many tech trends, no company wants to be left behind, and so we hear the newly rebooted Nokia is working on its own version, called Viki.

T3 reports that HMD Global, the company who recently licensed the Nokia name, has filed a patent for a software application that brings disparate sources of data together "into a single chat and voice based interface." Of course, that could be something like a Messenger chatbot or even a racist Twitter AI account, but the name Viki has 'digital assistant' written all over it. They tend to be given female-sounding multi-syllable names, which combine with a greeting to make a distinctive sound that shouldn't come up much in normal conversation. Hence "hey Siri," "hey Cortana" and so on.

Viki, however, doesn't seem particularly well thought-out for this purpose. For starters, there are plenty of people called Vicky (people called Alexa have to change the Amazon Echo settings to call their assistant something else), and from a linguistic standpoint, the initial 'v' sound will be harder to distinguish than the highly sibilant 's' at the beginning of 'siri'. It'd need a strong greeting to make the full sound unusual enough to not set off too many false alarms.

Of course, Viki could be a codename. It could be an acronym. Or it might not be a virtual assistant at all. Until the new Nokias arrive (supposedly later this year), we won't know for sure - unless, of course, Viki leaks. [T3]

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