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Samsung announces Bixby ahead of the Galaxy S8’s unveiling

by Josh Levenson | March 20, 2017

Samsung finally announced its AI-powered virtual assistant, Bixby, which will debut on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus on March 29. To set itself apart from its competitors (Cortana, Google Assistant and Siri), Bixby will serve as a voice-based interface for controlling applications, as opposed to a tool for answering questions and responding to basic commands.

Using Bixby, you will be able to control almost everything you can in an application with a touchscreen. In theory, you should be able to say something along the lines of: “Open up The Weather Channel, change my location to [ZIP Code], then present a seven-day forecast,” and, providing the application has support for the assistant, it’ll do so.

Also, as Bixby has cognitive tolerance, you won’t have to memorize specific phrases. The AI is perfectly capable of understanding incomplete commands. Although, if it does happen to make a mistake, you can instantly touch the screen to take over as it’s contextually aware; meaning you can instantly jump between voice and touch.

“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,” said Samsung’s Senior VP InJong Rhee. “The interface must be natural and intuitive enough to flatten the learning curve regardless of the number of functions being added.”

It’s unclear what technology is powering Bixby

At present, it’s unclear what technology is powering Bixby. A recent report published by The Wall Street Journal claims that it’s merely an upgraded version of S Voice, but Samsung’s acquisition of Viv last year has led many to believe that some of its algorithms may be baked into the firm’s virtual assistant.

Samsung

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Josh Levenson

Josh Levenson is an avid technology enthusiast who writes news and the occasional how-to. He's also a self-proclaimed sneakerhead and has been an...