emfizz.com March 23, 2017

Samsung to release Bixby, Galaxy 8 new assistant interface

21 March 2017, 09:21 | Patty Hardy

Credit Samsung Flickr Creative Commons


Samsung acquired United States startup Viv Labs, the company originally behind Apple's Siri assistant, in October previous year with aims to develop its own version of an AI assistant.

"Samsung has a conceptually new philosophy to the problem: instead of humans learning how the machine interacts with the world (a reflection of the abilities of designers), it is the machine that needs to learn and adapt to us". Rhee cautions that this won't happen overnight, but that Bixby will start out with several ingrained advantages.

Samsung Bixby is set to go head-to-head with Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana, the Google Assistant, and other virtual assistants, but it aims to do much more than just offer tidbits of information or alerts on the weather.

With regards to completeness, Samsung claims that you will be able to perform any task using the apps without touching your phone's screen. According to Samsung, Bixby will be advanced enough to "understand commands with incomplete information", meaning you should be able to use it to open your email with natural language, regardless of what the "official" voice command is. This acts as a differentiating agent in the favor of Bixby as most existing assistants only support a few selected tasks for applications, and end up confusing users on what is supported and what is not.

"There has been a lot of excitement and speculation about what we will deliver with the launch of the Galaxy S8 later this month, especially due to the advancements in artificial intelligence", Rhee continued. But Samsung plans to release a software development kit to enable third-party developers to add Bixby functionality into their apps and effectively create an ecosystem around the virtual assistant.

The future vision for Bixby is broad; Samsung intends to bring the assistant to "all our appliances". At some point Samsung will release an SDK to let developers get in on the Bixby action, but that time is not now, apparently. The S8 should also support Google Assistant if it ships with Android 7.0 as expected, "so users will have a choice between Bixby and Google Assistant".

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Samsung has officially announced its own digital assistant, dubbed Bixby, which will debut in the upcoming Galaxy S8.

Samsung says it developed Bixby to work with how people talk, not necessarily forcing the user to conform to preset audible cues (like "Hey, Bixby" or some alternative).

For one, Samsung said that Bixby can control your phone more thoroughly than other voice assistants.

Now, with Bixby, Samsung has an AI assistant that it will likely take it head-to-head against Google Assistant. This will come in the form of a "dedicated Bixby button" located on the side of Samsung's next device. But analysts have been expecting a more sophisticated AI on Samsung phones since past year when the company bought Viv, which was founded by Siri's original creators.

Samsung is employing Bixby to push towards a more seamless experience (which also seems like their overall goal with the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus).

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