Artificial intelligence in the form of phone assistance isn’t anything new at this point. Apple led the pack with Siri, but other companies have started to create these assistants too. The latest company to jump into the AI craze is Samsung.
While Samsung tried creating an AI assistant a year or so ago, the company largely failed. Now, Samsung is back with another AI option. This one is called Bixby. Bixby, the company claims, is new, interesting, unique, and will play a large part in the future of the company. Is it all of those things? Here’s a closer look.
Samsung’s Bixby will arrive with the Galaxy S8 when it hits the market. Bixby will be located as a dedicated side button on the new phone. Instead of asking Bixby for something (as you might with Siri) or pressing a home button, Bixby can be communicated with walkie-talkie style - you press the button, wait for a reply, and then keep pressing the button for answer and response.
While it’s true that Samsung has placed Bixby on the side of the phone and not as part of the home button (Samsung has told press that the home button is already too crowded - and I tend to agree), what else is mind-blowing about Bixby?
A Larger Picture
Samsung sees a large image with Bixby. This button on the side of a phone might just be the beginning of Samsung’s AI path. The company has talked about testing out AI with Bixby, but then moving to using AI as a way to communicate with all electronics inside of your home - like a connected smart home using a Bixby button.
The idea is to pick up your phone, tap the button, and wake up the entire house, or have all of your electronics talk back to you. But Samsung might have a long way to go before that actually happens. Right now, smart homes are gaining in popularity, but studies have shown that most people are still skeptical when it comes to talking to technology.
Bridging the Gap
Not only does Samsung’s Bixby have to compete with Siri (its main competitor but not the only one), Bixby has to somehow get people to trust AI. Right now, most consumers do not use artificial intelligence as much as companies would like them to. People are still wary of the control that AI has.
With recent WikiLeaks pointing the possibility of government agencies spying on consumers through things like laptops and smart TVs, most people aren’t rushing to purchase any kind of device that could possibly be used as a spy tool or have too much control over things like home electronics. There are also hacks to consider and systems crashing.
Recently when Amazon’s AWS crashed, many homes that are currently connected were suddenly pushed offline. This caused a lot of consumer panic. So trying to convince consumers that they should use an AI assistant like Bixby to connect all home electronics is going to be a really hard sell. But it’s also a sell that Samsung thinks they can accomplish.