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Everything We Know About ‘Bixby’ Samsung’s AI Assistant

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Samsung’s Galaxy S8

Samsung’s Galaxy S8, is due to be revealed at the end of March, and it seems a new AI assistant will be a cornerstone of the company’s new phone. Samsung executives confirmed last November that a fully-fledged AI assistant on the S8 would differentiate the device from its competitors. Let’s see what we know so far this new assistant.

Voice commands have come back into the scene last year, after an uptick in interest in Amazon’s Echo and the launch of Google’s Assistant. Here what we know so far about the upcoming Bixby.

  • If trademarks are to be believed, the assistant’s name will be Bixby. The name “Kestra” has also been registered, leading some to suggest there will be male and female variants of the assistant
  • The underlying tech will come from Viv Labs, a startup founded by the creators of Siri that Samsung bought last year
  • The S8 might have a dedicated button for launching the assistant
  • As per Samsung execs, the assistant will integrate with third party services, but will also reportedly be able to control “almost all” native apps pre-installed on the S8
  • Users will reportedly be able to use the S8’s cameras to conduct visual searches. This could mean optical character recognition (scanning a document and searching for key terms) but also object recognition — for example, searching for consumer goods by snapping a picture
  • If that’s the case, then this might be an easy way to buy products, as Bixby is rumored to be able to process payments
  • The software will reportedly support seven or eight languages
  • And the underlying AI tech (or Bixby itself) is also slated to show up in other Samsung devices, like home appliances and wearables

Bixby will be a powerful assistant if what we know is actually true. The last bullet point above is especially interesting, as Samsung is in a unique position of being able to integrate its AI platform not only with a mobile device, but also gadgets in your home. We have to wait and see how Bixby performs in the real world when it comes out at the end of March.


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