I’m sure you can all remember a time when voice activated devices were a thing of fiction only found in movies that took place a hundred years in the future or in a galaxy far away. Well, we didn’t have to wait nearly as long as we anticipated when Siri was released in 2011.
Apple’s sassy A.I., Siri, broke out onto the scene as a more advanced digital assistant that could play a song without looking too far or remind you to get milk once you’re at the grocery store. It’s completely obvious that clones of Siri would eventually surface in attempt to outshine her.
Soon we started meeting similar assistants like Cortana and Alexa but they either lacked the charm of the original or just weren’t as efficient. Cortana was okay until it was time to update and Alexa couldn’t do anything that Google couldn’t.
Prior to the release of the Samsung S8, we began hearing whispers and rumors of an assistant built into the phone that would not only rival Siri, but perhaps surpass her. It would be great if there was an Android option for a great helper, then Apple users might be a little less smug.
We had high hopes
Samsung’s assistant, named Bixby, was originally announced for the S8 but you may have noticed that the S8 has come and gone with not so much as a mention of the rumored assistant. The strange part was that there was no mention of Bixby when their new phone released, like they were hoping we forgot.
Bixby was supposed to revolutionize the personal digital assistant universe with its ability to not only answer questions, but control devices in your home like the a/c or the television; making remotes obsolete. Another great feature was that apps could be “Bixby-enabled” and now not require the touchscreen.
Samsung imitated Apple Pay flawlessly with their version aptly named Samsung Pay, so who’s to say they couldn’t make a comparable Siri? The good news is that this assistant hasn’t been scrapped just yet and Samsung assures us we’ll meet Bixby in May.
What exactly is the issue?
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus were released in late April and there was no sign of the rumored Bixby. However, this was not much of surprise because if it was indeed coming then I’m sure it would have been shouted from the rooftops a full month before release.
The reason for the absence of Bixby is not bugs, programming issues, or even a manufacturing problem but instead one you wouldn’t expect; language. As we speak, Korea is using Bixby flawlessly in the country of Samsung’s origin. But Bixby apparently has a problem with English dialogue and syntax.
This could be both good and bad when you really analyze the potential future. Good for the fact that the assistant is culture oriented and maybe adding another division here in America could benefit the company in becoming bigger than Apple.
On the other hand, does this mean that assistants are learning more than we ever thought they could. I would have never expected a program to be stifled by a thing thing like syntax. Hopefully we aren’t in the early stages of the Samsung Skynet.