Samsung Galaxy S8 to include A.I. assistant named Bixby

viv app demo

All the cool tech companies are doing it.

Introducing A.I.-powered digital assistants, that is. Google has the Google Assistant, Apple has Siri, Microsoft has Cortana. And Samsung doesn't want to be left out. That is why the tech giant is going to be debuting it's next phone, the Samsung Galaxy S8, with a digital assistant all its own.

In IT Blogwatch, we ask Siri to introduce us.

So what's happening? Jungah Lee has the background:

Samsung...plans to equip its next Galaxy S smartphones with a Siri-like digital assistant, seeking to make a comeback after the global debacle that precipitated the death of its flawed Note 7 lineup.
Samsung, which last month acquired...artificial-intelligence software company Viv Labs Inc., said the Galaxy S8 slated for next year will come with A.I.-enabled features “significantly differentiated” from those of Apple’s Siri or Google.

How will the technology work with Samsung's upcoming phones? Se Young Lee and Nataly Pak have the details:

Samsung plans to integrate the...A.I. platform...into the Galaxy smartphones and expand voice-assistant services to home appliances and wearable technology devices...Samsung did not comment on what types of services would be offered through the A.I. assistant...It said the A.I. assistant would allow customers to use third-party service seamlessly.

Aside from the recent acquisition of Viv Labs, is there any reason why Samsung is introducing a digital assistant now? Alexandra Burlacu can think of a reason:

Samsung has so far stayed out of the smart assistant race...That won't be the case for long...Considering the...blow it took from two Galaxy Note 7 recalls, Samsung desperately needs its Galaxy S8 to be a...hit. The A.I. digital assistant could raise...interest, offer...advanced functionality and help Samsung rebuild consumer confidence after the massive Note 7 flop.
Samsung' assistant is apparently dubbed Bixby and the company already applied for a trademark.

And just in case you have been living under a rock for the last few years, what is the big deal with A.I.? Steven Musil fills us in:

Artificial widely expected to represent the next frontier of computing...A.I.-powered voice assistants have suddenly become all the rage, offering a hands-free and more natural way to ask questions, find information and manage busy lives.

Do we know anything else about the Galaxy S8? Specs? Release date? Sean Riley tells us what he knows:

Samsung has stuck to a...consistent schedule with the Galaxy S line over the years, introducing new phones on or around each year’s Mobile World Congress...The 2017 Mobile World Congress starts Feb. 27.
Galaxy S8...reports...indicate that Samsung is ready to step up the 4K UHD...Samsung Display engineer Park Won-sang...indicated...Samsung would be rolling out a display...that covers 90 percent of the body...Achieving this ratio would mean dropping the physical home button...With Huawei, LG and Apple now offering rear cameras with two lenses, look for Samsung to follow suit with the S8.

So, any first reactions to the news? Chris Black has one:

The S8 will boast a brand new-state of the art Artificial Intelligence based Digital Assistant...If you ask me, that sounds like Apple’s Siri on steroids...Samsung needs flagship smartphone to clear up its reputation...Let’s hope that Bixby and the Galaxy S8 will make Samsung Great Again!

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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