According to a report published by SamMobile, soon to be owners of Samsung’s Galaxy S8 devices will have a better artificial intelligence feature than users of Google Pixel devices. There is some speculation that Samsung’s next flagship handsets will come with Bixby Assistant, which might launch with seven or even eight languages. Currently on the Pixel smartphones, Google Assistant offers support for only a couple of languages, English and German (as indicated in the tech giant’s website). As for Google Allo, which also makes full use of Google Assistant and works on more devices, it offers support for five languages, namely English, German, Hindi, Japanese, and Portuguese.
Today’s smartphones are not only battling it out in terms of hardware specs (notably with regards to camera features) but also with software. 2017 is looking to be the year in which AI assistants take center stage, especially among upcoming flagship smartphone offerings from some of the biggest names in mobile across the globe.
For Samsung, debuting its own AI assistant feature will be considered by many as a step in the right direction, considering many of its rivals are already taking full advantage of AI in their respective devices. For instance, Apple’s iPhone has Siri, Google’s Pixel has Assistant, while Amazon’s Alexa will be making its appearance on a smartphone for the first time later this February (courtesy of Huawei’s Mate 9 phablet).
Also, it has become clearer that Samsung wants to use more of its own when it comes to software. For example, the branded S Voice mobile app appears to be an attempt by the South Korean tech giant to replace Google’s voice search tool. On top of that, Samsung has also minimized its focus on preloaded apps, and has even started discontinuing some services, like what it did to its Milk music streaming service in September of last year.
But will its Bixby AI be able to hold its own against already established competition? This should be an interesting thing to witness. Based on features alone, Bixby looks to be quite capable -- it can facilitate payment transactions, it can manipulate native mobile apps, it can recognize objects and read texts by way of the camera app, and by virtue of its own launch button, it should be easy and convenient to use. But that is just on paper for now. Still, when the Galaxy 8 debuts in March (with shipping dates likely in April), fans of Samsung will be able to start finding out for themselves if Bixby is the real deal.
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