With the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ right around the corner, Samsung is making some big promises with respect to the devices’ new AI assistant, promising that it will eventually have a far greater reach beyond just the smartphones.
Called Bixby, Samsung’s AI assistant has been rumored to be in the works for some time. Now, the company has revealed that Bixby’s technological sophisticated will revolve around its ability to understand users. When an application is Bixby-enabled, the AI system “will be able to support almost every task that the application is capable of performing using the conventional interface”, according to a statement from the company. Bixby will also understand the context in which a user is making certain requests or queries, and “will be smart enough to understand commands with incomplete information”.
The Galaxy S8 and S8+ will come pre-loaded with certain Bixby-enabled apps, but Samsung says that it will work to bring the functionality to more apps and that eventually it will launch an SDK to allow third party developers to add functionality, likely taking a cue from Amazon’s and Apple’s success with that approach. Further down the line, Samsung says it plans to bring Bixby into various home appliances – “your air conditioner or TV”, for example – enabling richer user interaction in the connected home and the IoT.
It’s a bold vision, but one that’s similar to the ambitions of rivals like Apple, Amazon, and Google, as voice-based AI systems continue to rise in prominence as the major user interface of the IoT.