Samsung's revamped Bixby takes on Amazon Alexa

October 18, 2017

Samsung on Wednesday announced it is upgrading its Bixby digital assistant and making it available for a range of connected devices, setting up a clash with Amazon's Alexa and others competing for leadership in artificial intelligence.

The South Korean electronics giant, which is the world's biggest smartphone maker, launched Bixby last year but only for its own flagship Galaxy handsets.

The new Bixby 2.0 will be open to developers in a move to put the personal assistant on more devices, the company announced at its developer conference in San Francisco.

"Bixby 2.0 will be ubiquitous, available on any and all devices," said Eui-Suk Chung, Samsung executive vice president, in a blog post.

"This means having the intelligence of Bixby, powered by the cloud, act as the control hub of your device ecosystem, including mobile phones, TVs, refrigerators, home speakers, or any other connected technology you can imagine."

The move puts Samsung and Bixby squarely in competition with Alexa, the program powering Amazon's connected speakers and on many third-party devices including appliances and cars.

Also competing in the space are Google and Microsoft, which have their own digital assistants that can be used for smart homes and connected vehicles.

While the first iteration of Bixby drew mixed reviews, Chung said the 2.0 version will be "a powerful intelligent assistant platform that will bring a connected experience that is ubiquitous, personal, and open."

He called Bixby 2.0 "a fundamental leap forward" for digital assistants.

"Today's assistants are useful, but ultimately still play a limited role in people's lives," Chung said.

"People use them to set timers and reminders, answer trivial questions, etc. We see a world where digital assistants play a bigger role, an intelligent role, where one day everything from our phones, to our fridge, to our sprinkler system will have some sort of intelligence to help us seamlessly interact with all the technology we use each day."

When Bixby was introduced, it was billed as a system to control nearly all tasks in smartphone applications to make the devices simpler to control.

Samsung last year bought Viv, an artificial startup with co-founders who were part of the team that built virtual assistant Siri, used in Apple devices.

Speaking at the WSJD Live conference this week, Samsung Next president David Eun said, "When we think about Bixby, we don't think about it as a voice gateway on a single . We think of it as a service across all devices in the home—TVs, appliances, even cars."

Explore further: Samsung voice-assistant Bixby to debut with new phone

Related Stories

Move over, Siri and Alexa, and make room for Bixby.

April 11, 2017

That's the name of Samsung's virtual assistant, a key feature of the new Galaxy S8 phone. The Korean company has big plans for the voice-based technology, seeing it as a fundamental way its customers will interact with a ...

Facebook launches digital assistant 'M' in US

April 6, 2017

Facebook on Thursday launched its digital assistant named "M" for US users of its Messenger application, ramping up the social network's efforts in artificial intelligence.

Recommended for you

Galactic center visualization delivers star power

March 21, 2019

Want to take a trip to the center of the Milky Way? Check out a new immersive, ultra-high-definition visualization. This 360-movie offers an unparalleled opportunity to look around the center of the galaxy, from the vantage ...

Ultra-sharp images make old stars look absolutely marvelous

March 21, 2019

Using high-resolution adaptive optics imaging from the Gemini Observatory, astronomers have uncovered one of the oldest star clusters in the Milky Way Galaxy. The remarkably sharp image looks back into the early history of ...

When more women make decisions, the environment wins

March 21, 2019

When more women are involved in group decisions about land management, the group conserves more—particularly when offered financial incentives to do so, according to a new University of Colorado Boulder study published ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.