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    March 24, 2017

    Samsung confirms Bixby, totes AI as the frontier of navigation

    samsung bixby

    Samsung has officially confirmed the existence of Bixby; its new digital assistant which is touted to help users navigate through their device.

    In recent years, the likes of Apple, Amazon and Google have used digital assistants to serve up information and contextual alerts on-the-go. While Samsung has been rumoured to mired in the development of such an AI, the company today announced something a little different in the form of Bixby.

    While Bixby has been rumoured to be Samsung’s stand-in for Google Assistant (prior to the worldwide release of Google’s AI helper) the company has instead revealed that Bixby will be geared to helping users navigate their devices.

    Read: Samsung’s Galaxy S8 gets pictured in Black Sky, Orchid Grey, and Arctic Silver

    In an official blog post, InJong Rhee, Executive Vice President, Head of R&D, Software and Services of Samsung commented that “Technology is supposed to make life easier, but as the capabilities of machines such as smartphones, PCs, home appliances and IoT devices become more diverse, the interfaces on these devices are becoming too complicated for users to take advantage of many of these functions conveniently”.

    In that view, Rhee offered that “Ultimately users are at the mercy of the designers with an increasingly steep curve” – citing the fundamental limitations of human-to-machine interfaces.

    That’s where Bixby comes in. Where Siri provides context and alerts and Google Assistant, well, assists, Bixby will be a new “intelligence interface” that will enable users to experience their devices on a more deep and fundamental level.

    Three core concepts form part of that prerogative; the first is completeness, in which Samsung cited that Bixby-enabled apps swill “support almost every task that the application is capable of performing using the conventional interface”.

    The second of those is ‘Context Awareness’, in which the assistant can be summoned at any point in the app and hence be able to understand the context and state of an app. The third and final concept is that of ‘Cognitive Tolerance’ – in which Bixby will be able to understand and execute commands with minimal information – say, if a user happens to forget the entire phrase of instruction they wish to offer.

    Samsung has revealed that Bixby will formally debut on the Galaxy S8, and will be summoned through a dedicated physical button found on the handset’s side. The assistant will later arrive on Samsung’s appliances, and will arrive onboard air conditioners all the way to television sets. The news corroborates Samsung’s effort to tackle the smart home, which we saw at Samsung Africa Forum earlier this year:

    What are your thoughts on the revelation of Bixby? Do you feel Samsung has carved out a unique approach amongst a growing number of AI assistants? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!

    Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA

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