It’s been over two months since the Galaxy S8 series made its grand debut, and Bixby is still lacking support for English speakers. A huge percentage of adopters cannot use one of the smartphone’s biggest features as a result, and Samsung is blaming it on a lack of data.
Samsung initially promised that Bixby would support the English language this spring, but summer is here, and there’s still no sign of it. An unnamed spokesperson for the South Korean company told The Korea Herald that the problem with adding new languages is “the lack of the accumulation of big data.”
It’s incredibly difficult to teach a virtual assistant a new language. Apple has previously revealed that it takes years of work and an incredible amount of data to expand Siri into new territories. You might think that a company as big as Samsung has the resources to make it happen, but it is struggling — partly because of the location of its engineering teams.
“Many engineers in the US are making full efforts to develop the English version. But, (due to geographical and language barriers) their frequent reports to and communication with the management located in Korea makes the progress much slower than developing the Korean version here,” claims an anonymous source.
Samsung has now made Bixby available in beta in the U.S., but it’s thought that full support for the English language won’t be ready until later this fall. Until then, Galaxy S8 owners have to live without the feature Samsung pushed so heavily, and the company cannot deliver other Bixby products that rely on voice — like that rumored smart speaker.