Samsung Will Revive Its Unloved AI Assistant Bixby

Samsung Will Revive Its Unloved AI Assistant Bixby

Remember Bixby, Samsung’s very much unused voice assistant across its smartphone and appliance ranges? Well, Samsung’s reportedly planning an AI-powered comeback for the smart assistant.

Honestly, at this point, I’d be surprised if you did remember Samsung’s long-unloved Google Assistant and Siri competitor. We passed through an entire Samsung news cycle at the start of the year, wrapped with a suite of new AI-powered features, and I don’t think I wrote about Bixby once. I’ve been using the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra for almost three months now (love it, great phone), and I’m still yet to come across any mention of Bixby in my daily use. It did get some love with the S23 range last year, but not so much this time around.

But it sure sounds like Samsung isn’t done with its voice assistant, even with the company long radio silent on its Bixby-powered HomePod competitor, and after finally adding Google Assistant to its Watch range in 2022 (though Samsung TVs have recently lost Google Assistant support).

“With the emergence of generative AI and LLM (large language model) technology, I believe that we have to redefine the role of the Bixby, so that Bixby could be equipped with generative AI and become smarter in the future,” executive vice president of Samsung’s mobile division Won-Joon Choi told CNBC.

“Bixby has been a key voice assistant for Samsung not just for mobile devices, but also for TVs and digital appliances that exist in Samsung’s ecosystem. So it has been the core voice assistant assistant so far.”

Keeping in mind that Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant is such a core part of the company’s tech that it begs you in its own guide to use it over Google’s much more popular assistant. It’s such a loved piece of the Samsung puzzle that the company’s own webpage for the voice assistant doesn’t even mention the company’s latest devices; the Galaxy S24 range and the Watch 6 range.

Separately, per Bloomberg, Google paid Samsung $US8 billion to keep the Google voice assistant, Google Search, and Play Store as default options on Samsung devices over four years.

We put it best in her Galaxy S24 expectations piece, if a bit tongue-in-cheek, “Poor Bixby is a much-maligned ‘smart’ assistant, and I feel really bad for poor Bixby. It might be time for Samsung to either take Bixby out behind the back shed and put it out of its misery, replacing it with a new assistant, or suddenly just make Bixby incredible.”

Unfortunately, Choi did not provide a timeframe for when Bixby will be making its AI-powered comeback.

Image: Samsung/Gizmodo Australia

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