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Samsung has unveiled its Bixby AI engine, the company’s answer to Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

The smart assistant doesn’t just answer the questions you put to it like other virtual smartphone assistants, but it’s been built to give you the help you need, when you need it most. Samsung explained it’ll make using your home devices a breeze.

Although Samsung hasn’t revealed exactly what Bixby will do or how it will do it, the company explained it will understand the context of the application someone is using and will help them carry out the current work-in-progress continuously.

“Instead of humans learning how a machine interacts with the world (a reflection of the designers’ abilities), it is the machine that needs to learn and adapt to us,” InJong Rhee, executive vice president and head of R&D of Samsung’s software and services division, said.

“The interface must be natural and intuitive enough to flatten the learning curve regardless of the number of functions being added. With this new approach, Samsung has employed artificial intelligence, reinforcing deep learning concepts to the core of our user interface designs.”

What is clear is that the AI engine will work across the entirety of Samsung devices. It won’t just be limited to selected applications, which the company said confuses users on other devices. It will also let users decide how to interact with the platform. They can use touch or voice, whichever comes most naturally to them.

Rhee added that Bixby doesn’t need complete information to work best. “Bixby will be smart enough to understand commands with incomplete information and execute the commanded task to the best of its knowledge, and then will prompt users to provide more information and take the execution of the task in piecemeal. This makes the interface much more natural and easier to use,” he explained.

Samsung Bixby will first become available on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and it’ll be triggered by a button rather than a voice command, as is the case with most other smartphone assistants.

At launch, it will only work in English and Korean, but the company plans to roll it out in other languages in the future (it hasn’t specified which, but this makes it somewhat behind its biggest rivals).



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