Connect with top gaming leaders in Los Angeles at GamesBeat Summit 2023 this May 22-23. Register here.
On Wednesday, just a few months after its AI assistant Bixby made its debut, Samsung announced plans for a revamped version open to developers, with Viv Labs tech. Viv, from the creators of Apple’s Siri, was acquired by Samsung a year ago.
The glitz of the carefully crafted keynote presentation at the Samsung Developer Conference, delivered via screens the size of a convention center, had much wow factor, but questions from developers at sessions held later in the day made clear just how much ground Bixby needs to cover to catch up.
No date has been set for the release of the Project Ambiance dongle for quick Bixby integration into devices like TVs or speakers. Much was said about personalization at day one of its developer conference, but Samsung does not yet have plans to incorporate voice recognition for its devices like Google and Amazon have done.
And after a delayed Bixby Voice debut earlier this year, Samsung VP Brad Park said Bixby 2.0 is scheduled for release in Q3 or Q4 2018 for Family Hub refrigerators and Smart TVs. No date has been set for 2.0 in smartphones, a Samsung spokesperson told VentureBeat, but if they’re on a similar timeline, toss in a complicating factor or delay of some kind and it could take until 2019 before the public at large gets the Bixby 2.0 experience in a smartphone.
Join us in San Francisco on July 11-12, where top executives will share how they have integrated and optimized AI investments for success and avoided common pitfalls.
On top of all that, Samsung still has no smart speaker on the market with Bixby inside. One is reportedly in the works. But maybe Samsung doesn’t have to follow the same smart speaker path as its competitors since the company’s fleet of connected devices are already in homes around the world.
We also learned Wednesday that Samsung will incorporate Google ARCore to bring augmented reality to Bixby Vision, further enmeshing Google in Samsung products.
Samsung’s operating system is Google’s Android. Samsung’s AR: ARCore from Google. Unpack an S8, Samsung’s flagship phone, and it has a dedicated button for Bixby — but hard-press the home button and you get Google Assistant. Press the Bixby button or swipe left from the home screen and Bixby Home can give you a stream of personalized info, but guess what? The Google search bar at the bottom of the S8 home screen delivers similar personalized news and alerts.
Google’s clear edge and the fact that Samsung started from scratch is enough to make you wonder why Samsung is trying in the first place. Why not just adopt Google Assistant or strike a partnership deal like Microsoft and Amazon did this summer?
Samsung repeats the same mantra you hear from other makers of AI assistants: People don’t want to use different assistants everywhere. They want a seamless, ubiquitous experience with one assistant from the car to the office to the home.
As Viv Labs cofounder Adam Cheyer has said, there will only be one to two big winners in the age of voice computing. So what happens if Bixby doesn’t make the cut?
In the time it takes for 2.0 to come to market, we’re sure to see much progress from Bixby’s competitors. We’ll know more next year about just how far ahead or behind Viv Labs tech is compared to its rivals. Competition with Alexa and the like aside, today it seems Bixby’s biggest challenge may be time.
Thanks for reading,
AI staff writer
P.S. Please enjoy this video: “AI Eats the World at Singularity University Global Summit”
From the AI Channel
Google’s DeepMind unveils AlphaGo AI that learns from itself and beat its predecessors
DeepMind, a division of Google that’s focused on advancing artificial intelligence research, unveiled a new version of its AlphaGo program today that learned the game solely by playing itself. Called AlphaGo Zero, the system works by learning from the outcomes of […]
Amazon’s Alexa gets a board game: When in Rome
In what appears to be a first, Amazon’s Alexa will act as a guide for a board game called When in Rome, according to the startup Sensible Object. Due out in March 2018, When in Rome will be the first of six voice-augmented games Sensible Object plans to release next year. Each game in the series called Voice Originals will cost $24.99, CEO Alex Fleetwood told VentureBeat […]
Facebook launches two datasets to improve AI video analysis
Facebook launched a pair of new open datasets today to help developers and data scientists train artificial intelligence systems to better understand videos. The Scenes, Objects, and Actions dataset (SOA) will provide developers with a massive set of videos that contain multiple labels indicating what’s going on inside them. Each video has been tagged by humans trained to attach multiple […]
Terminal wants to help your startup expand globally
Creating an international satellite office for a growing startup can be a tough challenge. In order to get started, companies have to find talent, real estate, and deal with new employment laws, tax considerations, and all manner of other complexities. A startup coming out of stealth today is aiming to fix that by doing much of the heavy lifting for […]
Bots are becoming highly skilled assistants in physical therapy
Within the last decade, we’ve seen incredible progress in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence. Innovators have been seeking out ways to meld humans and machines and, in some areas, remove humans altogether. In robotics, we’re seeing delivery drones, security robots, and more. In AI, chatbots, self-driving cars, and voice recognition have all made significant strides. Perhaps most importantly, advances in AI and […]
Sonos, Alexa, and Spotify: An excruciatingly slow evolution
Perhaps no one was more excited than I was by the official announcement that Amazon’s Alexa would work with Sonos speakers. And now, almost two weeks later, no one may be as frustrated as I am. It had been more than a year since Sonos, realizing it had badly missed the boat on voice-powered speakers, announced a partnership with Amazon […]
Google’s learning software learns to write learning software
White-collar automation has become a common buzzword in debates about the growing power of computers, as software shows potential to take over some work of accountants and lawyers. Artificial-intelligence researchers at Google are trying to automate the tasks of highly paid workers more likely to wear a hoodie than a coat and tie — themselves. (via Wired)
We are not used to the idea of machines making ethical decisions, but the day when they will routinely do this — by themselves — is fast approaching. So how, asks the BBC’s David Edmonds, will we teach them to do the right thing? (via BBC)
Inside the moonshot effort to finally figure out the brain
“Here’s the problem with artificial intelligence today,” says David Cox. Yes, it has gotten astonishingly good, from near-perfect facial recognition to driverless cars and world-champion Go-playing machines. And it’s true that some AI applications don’t even have to be programmed anymore: they’re based on architectures that allow them to learn from experience. Yet there is still something clumsy and brute-force about it, says Cox, a neuroscientist at Harvard. (via MIT Tech Review)
Robots are coming for these Wall Street jobs
Traders, prepare to adapt. Wall Street is entering a new era. The fraternity of bond jockeys, derivatives mavens and stock pickers who’ve long personified the industry are giving way to algorithms, and soon, artificial intelligence. Banks and investment funds have been tinkering for years, prompting anxiety for employees. Now, firms are rolling out machine-learning software to suggest bets, set prices and craft hedges. (via Bloomberg)
VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.