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Nokia appears to be working on its own AI assistant

Just don't assume you'll see it on a Nokia-branded phone.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
January 9, 2017
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Reuters/Antti Aimo-Koivisto/Lehtikuva

It seems that just about everyone wants to get into the AI assistant game. Nokia (the networking giant, not HMD Global's brand) has applied for a trademark on "Viki," a chat- and voice-based helper for smartphones and the web. Details are scarce -- this is a trademark, not a patent -- but there's little doubt as to what it's for. The question is, what will Nokia do with it?

Not surprisingly, the company isn't revealing much. "Nokia registers trademarks from time to time," a spokesperson tells us, "but we don't comment on how, whether or when they may be used for Nokia products or services." And it's important to remember that companies sometimes register trademarks as safeguards. They may not intend to make a product, but they don't want someone else taking their naming scheme.

You definitely can't assume that an assistant will show up in Nokia-branded smartphones. HMD Global may have the Nokia name under its belt, but that doesn't mean that it's working in concert with the original Finnish company. If Viki ever reaches the public, it could just as easily be shopped around to any smartphone maker or internet service that wants an AI solution.

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