Siri’s “Parents” Work to Expand Bixby Digital Assistant for Samsung
Viv Labs, which was behind Siri creation, helps Samsung to hone the proprietary digital assistant.
Digital assistants are must-have’s nowadays. Apple got Siri, Windows got Cortana, Amazon got Alexa and Pixel got Google Assistant (seems like they failed to come around with something more or less cute for a name). Samsung claims their own digital assistant named after the San Francisco bridge to be a great break-through.
Bixby embraces four components: Voice Agent, Reminders, Vision, and Home. The first two features are familiar to all gadget owners around the world. You speak up – and the assistant speaks back or completes a task. It also brings up reminders you’ve put in earlier. Nothing new to it. But the others two will explain why Samsung have spent a year and a half over the project while fighting back scorns, accusations and sneers.
First comes the Vision feature. Bixby will use a camera to recognize objects – a book, for instance: Bixby will surface various buttons with titles describing the item it sees. The title button pushed, Bixby’ll inform you where you can buy that book and the price of it. The assistant will be able to recognize bottles of wines, cars and other things of interests as well. This feature development involved machine learning and integration with Google search engine. Here where the Viv Labs come in.
Their task is to expand the app so that Bixby will be able to transfer the task data to the third-party ecosystem, namely, Google. Really, Samsung hasn’t got to reinvent its’ own search engine but instead to nicely build Bixby in. Viv Labs has succeeded with Siri and surely will do it again with Samsung.
As for the Bixby on-gadget search, it will be remarkable, too. The digital assistant from Samsung is claimed to be able to search pictures by description and attach them to emails. Like, “Find the funny picture of a cutie cat I snapped last week and send it to Jesse”. It’s the thing we’ve longed other DA to do but they’ve failed to so far. When our command contains little information for the digital assistant to complete it, the DA just refuses to go on and politely informs us so. It’s annoying and kills the very idea of assisting altogether. Bixby, its creators promise, will struggle to take the user as far as it can: it’ll create that email and attach the picture, even if it can’t recognize the correct email, corresponding to Jesse you mentioned.
So, why all the others are wild guessing what socket on iPhone Apple will ditch next, Samsung’s silently preparing a revolution in AI. For example, Microsoft has been fiddling with the idea of real object recognizing feature for the second generation of the Surface tablets but pulled the plug on it at last. And their recognizing system worked on physical contact, while Samsung’s Bixby will work with images.
Their new digital assistant will be helpful in a real way. No mundane jokes, no web links lists, just orders followed obediently and precisely. And Samsung and Viv Labs engineers are really ambitious about it. The current apps – Galleries, Contacts and all – can perform up to 300 tasks and Bixby will cover them all with just one touch command. It’s a very complicated goal I should say. I really doubt if Samsung S8 would cope with it. It must have the top hardware to cope, that’s for sure. Because understanding an everyday speech is a really, really hard way for modern gadgets to do. Everyone who tried to dictate Google Docs or a text on iPhone can vouch for that. On the other hand, they don’t install octa-cores for nothing, do they? This way the multicored CPUs will at least have a really hard job to do.
And the last feature is Bixby Home to live on the screen to the left of the home screen. It will consist of cards with info, suggestions about things you might like to do or watch and is expected to be also expandable. The third parties will be able to work with it and it will context, if you’re at office, or home. The feature will be brought up with a short tap, while the long tap will wake up Bixby listening.
So, Bixby is another reason to look forward to the next Samsung’s phone. It can turn out to be much more than another piece of design art.