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Samsung Announces Bixby, Its New Digital Assistant Launching With the Galaxy S8 (phonedog.com) 71

Samsung has taken the wraps off its new digital assistant that will be launching with the upcoming Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus smartphones. Called "Bixby," the new assistant will use artificial intelligence to enable users to do everything that is possible to do by touch, but with voice. PhoneDog reports: Samsung is touting three main features of its new assistant. The first is "Completeness," which means that when an app is Bixby-enabled, the assistant will able to perform almost every task that the app normally supports using touch. The second Bixby property is "Context Awareness." This means that when Bixby is activated, it'l be able to understand the current context and the state of the app that you're in without interrupting the work that you're doing. Finally, there's "Cognitive Tolerance." Samsung says that Bixby is smart enough to understand commands with incomplete commands, meaning that you don't have to remember the exact phrase that you have to say to perform a task with an assistant. Bixby will also ask you for more information when performing a task and then execute it. A select number of apps on the Galaxy S8 will be Bixby-enabled at launch, and Samsung plans to add more over time. The company also intends to release an SDK so that third-party app developers can add Bixby support to their apps.

Samsung Announces Bixby, Its New Digital Assistant Launching With the Galaxy S8

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  • Is it AI? Or just one of those old fashioned programs hooked up to a voice recognition front end and a back end database? The former gets all the VC money.
    • by fyngyrz ( 762201 )

      Is it AI? Or just one of those old fashioned programs hooked up to a voice recognition front end and a back end database?

      The answer, functionally speaking, is in the "Bixby-enabled programs" phrase. The program has to incorporate specific hooks into Bixby. So it's not very smart at all.

      If the thing was actually fully general for this task, it'd approach the programs the same way you do; first understanding your intent, and second, implementing it through the same user interface you do. Clearly, it doesn't d

      • Re:Nice (Score:4, Insightful)

        by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2017 @12:01AM (#54079607) Homepage Journal
        I don't care what it is...as long as I can fully and confidently turn the fucker OFF and ensure it isn't listening to me in my daily life.

        Its bad enough the Feds are doing it, but at least there is still some semblance of court orders, etc.

        I don't want companies listening to me all day long and processing it through their AI computer systems.

      • ...and also they're not "personal assistants" in so much as they don't really assist you. You can't ask any of them "hold my calls unless they're important" (I'm not sure any of them can even "hold calls" beyond maybe turning your phone to silent).

        As for Samsung getting into this - honestly, not one bit of Samsung-built software I've knowingly ever used has been any use or any good (look no further than the comical 'Samsung Push Service' on the Play store). They make good hardware, but their software sucks.

    • Bixby? Nahh, yer want Begbie! "Well, this is a good fucking laugh, ain't it? You delete that email shite out of your system. 'Cause if I come back and it's still here... I'll fucking kick it out".
      • The first thing that I thought of was Philby. As in Kim, the spy. Pure coincidence I'm sure.

        • I thought of Bill Bixby, as in Bruce Banner from the TV The Hulk. You don't want to make your phone mad, you won't like it when it's mad.
          • Don't forget he also starred in "The Magician" and too many people think that what goes on inside a piece of [Apple] electronics is purely magical.

    • Is it AI?

      For a lot of people on slashdot, the answer would be yes. But then again, that's because they would count a central heating thermostat as being "weak AI".

  • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Monday March 20, 2017 @10:10PM (#54079171)
    "the new assistant will use artificial intelligence to enable users to do everything that is possible to do by touch"

    So, every phone comes with a virtual hooker?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Hulk doesn't agree with your query!

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      Indeed, you DON'T wanna make a Samsung Galaxy angry. Like Bill Bixby, they have explosive tempers.

  • by Desler ( 1608317 ) on Monday March 20, 2017 @10:16PM (#54079211)

    The first is "Completeness," which means that when an app is Bixby-enabled, the assistant will able to perform almost every task that the app normally supports using touch.

    If previous history is anything to go by, pretty much no one outside of Samsung is going to use a Samsung-only API.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      And pretty much no one will use the Samsung apps that use the API.

    • Exactly this. Everyone on Android is going to be integrating with Google's Assistant - no one is going to work with Samsung's. Especially considering its primary focus is to help users "use the Galaxy S8".

      Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
    • Yeah, it might be hard to get an app developer to join the Bixby bandwagon, especially if they already have an investment in one of the other voice assistant services out there like Siri, Cortana, Alexa, or Google Assistant. Samsung is late to the party here.

  • I cannot speak for the rest of you guys but I frankly will not be trusting corporations with any more information than necessary because there seems to be a total lack of accountability in regards to protecting that information. So yeah, until they start making these assistants actually process the data (instead of sending it to a mystery third party) or they start throwing execs in jail when their half-assed security measures fail, I'm going to stay way from this technologies like this.

    There is good progress and there is bad progress. This isn't good progress.

  • That would be great if companies didn't store all your data, so fuck Bixby.
  • by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Monday March 20, 2017 @10:54PM (#54079359)

    You wouldn't like it when it's angry.

  • by sit1963nz ( 934837 ) on Monday March 20, 2017 @11:25PM (#54079491)
    If that the case DONT buy the green one, you won't like it if it gets angry. May not go up in flames, but it will rip your clothes. (for those old enough to remember the tv series of the Hulk with Bill Bixby / Lou Ferrigno)
  • The probably didn't mean this "Bixby"...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

  • I'm a big fan of Samsungs phones, and have been using them for the last years, ever since I bought the S3.

    But it's always in spite of their software. If I could get a clean Android on my S7 now, I would do that right away (and please don't show your ignorance by mentioning cyanogen now). They are great at building hardware, they suck at building software. I can only imagine how sad this is going to be when they now infect many other apps with their systems.

    These "helper" apps have been coming and going ever

  • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2017 @04:45AM (#54080163)
    You seem to be trying to extinguish your burning phone, can I hel...
  • For the time being, these so-called digital assistants are little more than gimmicks, good for parties and little else. The bottom line is that they do not do much useful and, what little they do, one can, for the most part, do faster, and certainly more efficiently, at the keyboard. At least, in this case, coming from Samsung, it might be explosive.
  • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2017 @09:21AM (#54080895)
    Samsung fill their phones with apps that double up everything Google does but in a more crappy way. And its all baked into the firmware so it cannot be removed (only hidden), degrades performance and leaves less space for user data.

    For people who want a digital assistant, somehow I doubt that "bixby" will be in any way more useful or functional than Google's. It's just more crapware that nobody asked for and nobody will use in sufficient quantity to justify its existence. It probably needs people to use all the other crapware and Samsung's cloud storage in order to function at all.

  • Oh goody, another useless bulk app that offers a functionality that already exists in the OS. It's not like we actually need space on our phones or anything...
  • Hey Samsung - how about you make all the apps you bundle on your phones uninstallable? They're really great apps, so no one will uninstall them, right!?

  • eating resources that you only can turn off to some degree, but not actually disable or uninstall.
  • BINGO!! Congratulations to Samsung for using another meaningless word ( AI) for their potentially worthless assistant.

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