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Galaxy S8 Bixby assistant will be expanded to all Samsung devices

Samsung's upcoming voice assistant Bixby will arrive on the Galaxy S8, but later will be applied to all of its appliances such as air conditioners and TVs, evolving from a smartphone interface to an 'interface for your life'.
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Written by Cho Mu-Hyun, Contributing Writer on
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Samsung's Injong Rhee: Bixby is fundamentally different from other voice agents or assistants.

Shara Tibken/CNET

Samsung Electronics' upcoming voice assistant Bixby, soon to make its debut on the Galaxy S8 smartphone, will be applied to all of its other devices, the head of research and development at the firm has said.

Writing on the company's official blog post, Injong Rhee, Samsung's head of R&D for mobile software and services, claimed the "intelligent interface" will be fundamentally different from other voice agents or assistants.

Any device connected to the internet or that has a voice input will later be able to connect to the interface, he said.

Rhee also said that Bixby will have its own button on the side of its next device -- the Galaxy S8 -- which will reduce the steps to reach to the activity you desire, such as making calls and other tasks, by pressing and uttering the command.

He said Bixby-enabled devices will support almost every task that the application is capable of, will have contextual understanding of the device to offer touch and voice, and will have cognitive tolerance to execute commands from incomplete information.

These features were all from Samsung's new conceptual philosophy to make the machine adapt to the human instead of the other way round, as interfaces for different devices are becoming complicated, he said.

However, it seems applying artificial intelligence (AI) from Viv -- founded by Dag Kittlaus who co-founded Siri -- will come in a latter iteration. The executive said there is lots of excitement on what will come with the Galaxy S8, but that "ambition takes time".

Rhee earlier told ZDNet that Viv's platform will likely be applied in the second half of 2017.

A subset of pre-installed applications will be Bixby-enabled in the S8 and will be expanded. A SDK will be released at a later date, Rhee said.

Samsung is the world's biggest electronics maker in terms of revenue and makes smartphones, home appliances, and semiconductors. Under the leadership of Rhee, the company is expanding in software and services, where is has long been perceived as behind rival tech giants.

Samsung is expanding deployment of Samsung Pay globally and last year acquired cloud firm Joyent.

The company is set to unveil the Galaxy S8 on March 29.

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