Siri, clone yourself and dive into this Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone

Say hello to Bixby – Sammy's hopefully non-exploding AI assistant

Samsung has joined the race to build the best AI assistant, which will be available on the Galaxy S8, the company’s flagship mobile phone series.

Rumors of Samsung’s AI assistant started circulating after the South Korean tech giant filed a patent in October for something called “Bixby.”

Bixby is “computer software for personal information management,” through a voice recognition system that enables “hands-free use of a mobile phone.” Sound familiar?

In the same month, Samsung also announced that it had acquired Viv Labs, an AI startup that spun out of Apple’s AI platform, Siri – so it was only a matter of time before Samsung would present its own AI assistant.

During a briefing with Reuters, Samsung confirmed that its AI assistant will debut next year when the Galaxy S8 is released.

The software will be open to third-party developers to make the assistant smarter, Injong Rhee, Samsung’s Executive Vice President, said.

“Even if Samsung doesn't do anything on its own, the more services that get attached, the smarter this agent will get, learn more new services and provide them to end users with ease.”

In a previous statement made by the company, Rhee said that the software would be extended beyond smartphones: “Viv is an ideal candidate to integrate with Samsung home appliances, wearables and more, as the paradigm of how we interact with technology shifts to intelligent interfaces and voice control.”

Samsung is hoping the next version of its mobile phones will win back customers after the disastrous release of its flammable Galaxy Note 7 series. All phones had to be recalled over safety issues after handsets began exploding in flames.

This fiasco is estimated to have cost Samsung a whopping $2.3bn. It doesn’t end there, however. The electronics giant also has announced it is issuing a recall for millions of its washing machines that are prone to blowing up.

Let’s hope the AI assistant will be safer to use. ®


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