Samsung has officially unveiled Bixby, its AI assistant for all its devices. Positioned as a new intelligent interface which will debut on the Galaxy S8, Bixby is said to be more intelligent and intuitive to use compared to existing voice agents or assistants. It is essentially a cloud-based service which requires devices to have an Internet connection and circuitry to receive voice inputs.
At launch, it will only support a subset of preinstalled apps on the Galaxy S8. A SDK will be released for third party developers to make their apps and services Bixby-enabled in the future.
Samsung has confirmed that the Galaxy S8 will feature its own AI assistant, Bixby. While Samsung did not share specific information on what Bixby can do, it did said that the AI assistant will "allow customers to use third-party services seamlessly". In addition, developers can attach and upload services to Bixby, and the more services Bixby is integrated with, the smarter it will get.
SamMobile's sources managed to share insights on how Bixby could work with the camera on the Galaxy S8. Bixby is able to perform visual search and optical character recognition (OCR), a somewhat similar feature to Google's Goggles app. ETNews claims that Bixby can support 7 to 8 languages at launch which include English, Korean and Chinese.
Samsung's acquisition of Viv, a startup founded by the creators of Siri, led some people to think that Bixby is based on Viv's technology. Viv's founder Kittlaus shared that he sold his company to Samsung because the latter has "ubiquity"; Samsung ships over half a billion devices a year which offers Viv a huge distribution network to learn and adapt. However, it may not turn out to be true; the Wall Street Journal believes that Bixby is merely an upgraded version of S Voice.