Samsung’s new AI assistant will take on Siri, Alexa

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Samsung is preparing to launch a digital assistant called “Bixby,” the latest product to result from the tech industry’s obsession with artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things.

Bixby will be featured on the new Galaxy S8, Samsung’s head of research and development, Injong Rhee said in a blog post.

The S8 launches in New York next week.

Samsung is banking on the S8 to help it recover from last year’s embarrassing Note 7 debacle. The company killed off the flagship device after a recall and various fixes failed to stop some Note 7s from overheating and catching fire.

It’s also facing potential disruptions as de facto leader Lee Jaeyong’s criminal trial begins in South Korea. Lee has been caught up in a corruption scandal and is facing a list of charges including bribery and embezzlement.

Bixby will enter a market that is already crowded with competitors, including Apple’s (AAPL, Tech30) Siri, Amazon’s (AMAZON) Alexa, Google (GOOG) Assistant, Microsoft’s (MICROS) Cortana and IBM’s (IBM, Tech30) Watson. Even Facebook (FB, Tech30) CEO Mark Zuckerberg has an assistant called Jarvis.

Samsung, however, insists that Bixby is “fundamentally different from other voice agents or assistants.”

The electronics giant said that Bixby’s ability to work across supported apps sets it apart from Siri or Cortana. For example, you could direct BIxby to “find a photo of Jane and text it to Sally.”

Users will also be able to switch between using Bixby to issue voice commands and using smartphones the old fashioned way, via touch commands. That is a clumsier experience on existing assistants, which often start tasks over if you switch from voice to touch.

Unlike its competitors, the S8 will come with a dedicated Bixby button, allowing users to fire up the smartphone digital assistant the same way they would a walkie-talkie. Samsung plans to make Bixby available on all its appliances, including air conditioners and TVs.

“We believe Bixby will evolve from a smartphone interface to an interface for your life,” Rhee said.

Read the source article at CNNMoney.