Samsung Enhances Bixby So Users Can Clone Their Voices

Samsung this week has announced new updates to its Bixby personal assistant that was launched back in 2017.

Bixby of course is embedded in a number of Samsung appliances, most notably its smartphone range, and is Samsung’s answer to Apple’s Siri.

This week Samsung said it was updating Bixby to “improve user experience, performance and capabilities of the intelligent assistant and platform.”

Bixby update

Specifically, Samsung said the “new updates deliver significant improvements in Bixby’s ability with enhanced language recognition, giving people greater control over their mobile experience.”

“When Samsung first launched Bixby as a voice assistant, it was part of a vision to create a human-to-machine interface that makes life easier and can advance over time with Samsung Galaxy innovation,” said YoungJip Kim, executive VP and head of the Artificial Intelligence Team in Mobile eXperience Business, Samsung Electronics.

“Today, we introduce updates to build a more intelligent interface that is proactive and adaptive, giving people greater control over their mobile experience,” said Kim.

So what exactly will the new updates deliver and will it make people use Bixby a bit more than they currently do.

According to Samsung the new Bixby updates bring several new features and improvements to functions such Bixby Text Call in English.

This allows English speakers to answer calls from anywhere by typing a message, which Bixby converts to audio and communicates to the caller directly on their behalf.

But in addition to this, users can also personalise their Bixby Text Call voice.

Cloning voices

Using the new Bixby Custom Voice Creator, users can record different sentences for Bixby to analyse and create an AI generated copy of their voice and tone.

However this is only currently available in Korean for a small number of Samsung handsets (the new Galaxy S23, S23+ and S23 Ultra), but this generated voice is planned to be compatible with other Samsung apps beyond phone calls.

And for those who want to customise their wake word, Bixby now supports changes to the Custom wake-up phrase within Bixby settings as well, adding a new option to create a personalised wake-up phrase.

Samsung also says that Bixby can currently provide more seamless continuity and better attune to user needs with the introduction of new scenarios, including playing music depending on the type of exercise in Samsung Health or saving schedules in Calendar.

Contextual understanding

With the updates, Bixby can better understand intent and process follow-up requests by understanding context and associating words previously used in interactions.

For example, Bixby users can first launch a workout on Samsung Health and then ask Bixby to play music that best suits that exercise by saying “Play music for this workout.”

Samsung also expanded Bixby’s on-device AI support. This means that users can run key commands entirely offline, such as setting a timer, taking a screenshot or turning on the flashlight.

By integrating on-device AI with its native applications, Samsung said it is able to further expand its language offering and capabilities with advanced AI-based voice dictation.

Bixby updates will be available for Samsung Galaxy users in February through a software update.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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