Samsung unveils Context-Aware Virtual Assistant Bixby
The upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8 would be the first device to come with Bixby
Samsung is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that its upcoming feature smartphone does not leave out on any technology which its rivals have already incorporated. Amongst the speculations about the phone, one major update that Samsung is going to embed into the smartphone is a smart-Assistant named Bixby.
Google, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft are all known for having smart, artificial intelligence-equipped digital assistants, and now you can add Samsung into that mix. Bixby will be launched with the Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone on 29 March. Bixby seems different on a conceptual level: It’s meant to serve as a new voice-based interface for controlling your apps, rather than just something that you can ask a few questions.
“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,” Samsung senior vice president InJong Rhee wrote in a blog post. “The interface must be natural and intuitive enough to flatten the learning curve regardless of the number of functions being added. With this new approach, Samsung has employed artificial intelligence, reinforcing deep learning concepts to the core of our user interface designs.”
Instead of being a database that you fire questions at or tell to do specific things, Bixby is meant to be a helper on your device, to make it easier to access all the information you need.
Bixby will first appear on the Galaxy S8, expected to be announced later this month. The phone will have a dedicated button to launch the assistant, but Samsung says that its initial capabilities will be limited to a handful of preinstalled apps, with others added over time. It will also be limited to just English and Korean at first, though there are plans to add other languages such as Chinese and US Spanish shortly after launch.
Starting with smartphones, Bixby will be gradually applied to all Samsung appliances. In the future you would be able to control your air conditioner or TV through Bixby. Since Bixby will be implemented in the cloud, as long as a device has an internet connection and simple circuitry to receive voice inputs, it will be able to connect with Bixby.
It’s still unclear what’s powering Bixby at this point. Samsung picked up the AI assistant company Viv last year, which showed off some intriguing capabilities when it was first demoed. But according to the WSJ, Bixby is actually based on an upgraded version of S Voice.