You may be wondering how all of a sudden we are talking about Samsung's rumored virtual assistant Bixby
, and AI in the Galaxy S8
, given that the best efforts of the Galaxy line so far boiled down to S Voice, but don't forget that Samsung bought Viv
, of Siri creator fame, not long ago. Those guys are the real deal in AI assistants, with their software able to write code and learn on the fly, even if it hasn't encountered that query before.
In fact, Korean media is now reporting that Bixby will understand 7-8 languages at launch, including Korean and Chinese. That's more than the five spoken languages of Google's Assistant on the Pixel
phones, but less than the Siri roster. Samsung wanted to catch up on the virtual assistant and chat bot trend, the Viv team wanted ubiquity and exposure, so it's a win-win situation, which hopefully will be translated into a win for the end user, too, when the Galaxy S8
Bixby may even have a dedicated physical key
to launch it on the Galaxy S8, which only underscores the importance that Samsung places on its upcoming (artificially) intelligent bot. Samsung reportedly has larger ambitions for Bixby, as it reportedly plans to incorporate it throughout the Galaxy S8 interface, individual apps included, and even place it into its Internet of Things network of smart home appliances, for instance. That is why Google might have reluctantly greenlit Bixby for cohabitation with the built-in Android Nougat service, and Samsung plans to collaborate with Mountain View on its further development.