Meet Bixby, Samsung's Personal Assistant That Doesn't Pretend To Be Alexa

Posted March 21, 2017

Samsung highlights that most voice agents or assistants impose the interaction mode and/or are cumbersome when switching between modes, but Bixby lets users choose whichever type of interaction they find most intuitive and comfortable. The artificial intelligence system can analyse user's activities and identify their interest in products such as wine, sharing related information such as manufacturers and prices. By focusing on phone functions, Bixby could actually end up being more useful than Siri or Google Assistant, especially if it bakes that functionality deep into the interface and expands it to its line of Gear watches.

And Bixby will also be smart enough to understand commands with incomplete information to the best of its knowledge, then ask for more information.

Of course, it'll be impossible to judge how well Bixby works until we see the Galaxy S8 in person on March 29. It will take on the Apple "iPhone 8", which isn't expected to launch until this fall.

Samsung said Bixby will focus on letting people control mobile apps with spoken directives.

While a handful of Bixby-enabled applications will come preinstalled on the Galaxy S8, Samsung says it will "eventually" release an SDK that allows developers and third-party manufacturers build Bixby support into their own devices and services.

The company further highlights that Bixby will be the "new intelligent interface" on Samsung devices and it's "fundamentally different" than any other virtual assistant now available on the market.

Injong Rhee, Executive Vice President and Head of R&D, Software and Services, Samsung Electronics, spoke at length today about the oncoming release of Bixby.

Samsung prides Bixby on three main points, context awareness, cognitive tolerance, and completeness.

Though Samsung hasn't revealed much on how Bixby exactly works, it claims that Bixby is not entirely meant to provide more accurate and context-based answers to questions, but to assist users in multiple other ways.

The Galaxy S8 will have a dedicated Bixby button.

Samsung has been rumored to be bringing a new personal assistant into the market with its Galaxy S8, and the firm has gone ahead to announce it before launch. So, instead of having to tap a few different times to send a picture off your phone to your friend or family member, you'll be able to tell Bixby to do it for you. Instead of being a "glorified extension of internet search", Bixby will have a different interface with voice and touch. In the same way, it puts into perspective what the company's plans are for its development, evolution and implementation in the ecosystem of branded devices.