Commentary

Samsung Claims Its New Bixby Out-Assists Siri

Siri and her ilk have some fresh competition from Bixby, Samsung’s new digital assistant.

Debuted on Monday, Bixby isn’t just another friendly voice, according to InJong Rhee, head of R&D at Samsung’s software and services division. On the contrary, Samsung’s creation is “fundamentally different” from rival assistants, Rhee promises.

That’s because Bixby can perform more tasks than most assistants, understand commands with incomplete information, and better appreciate context.

Whether this adds up to a better assistant remains to be seen, but Bixby certainly has good roots. Samsung made sure of that when it bought Viv -- the AI firm helmed by the same engineers who created Siri -- last year.

Viv’s inventors, Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer, previously said that the technology improves on their earlier work with Siri.

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Powered by artificial intelligence, Viv can reportedly process more advanced queries than Siri, and answer multilayered questions like, “What's the weather near Disneyland?”

Vic can also reportedly process an unprecedented volumes of data, which makes it possible to become the portal through which billions of people connect to services and businesses, online.

Today, 40% of smartphone owners already use digital assistants, according to a recent survey conducted by Parks Associates.

Not surprising, millennials are most likely to partake (46%), but -- as the technology continues to improve and we get more comfortable talking to our gadgets -- such services are increasingly becoming common practice.

What's more, nearly three quarters (72%) of consumers who use digital assistants are already satisfied with their capabilities, while more than a third (38%) of those consumers report being very satisfied.

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