Samsung has undertaken to replace Rhee In-jong – the head of Bixby’s development – ahead of the reveal of a second-generation voice assistant next week.
As far as AI assistants go, it’s perhaps conservative to say that Samsung’s Bixby has had a rocky rollout – debuting first in Voice-less guise on the Galaxy S8, and only finding its vocal powers ahead of the launch of the Galaxy Note 8.
If those developments left you frustrated, it would seem Samsung itself echoes your sentiments – the South Korean company today announced that it has replaced its head of development, Rhee In-jong, with Chung Eui-seok; the leader of its mobile platform lab at Samsung Research America.
The move will see Rhee have oversight of software development in other areas, while Chung will instead take up charge of Bixby.
The announcement, interestingly enough, comes just ahead of Samsung’s planned debut of a second-generation take on Bixby which will inherit improvements from Viv – the digital assistant which Samsung acquired earlier this year.
The update will likely improve Bixby’s diction and handling of complex queries – one of the key reasons behind the delay of the assistant’s Voice suite was the fact that the system reportedly struggled to maintain a firm grasp on the English language.
Samsung has remained off-and-on again about its plans to develop a smart speaker that could rival the likes of Google Home, Amazon Echo, and Apple’s HomePod – though it is likely such a product could debut with an updated Bixby aboard.
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