Samsung To ‘Redefine’ Bixby With Generative AI

Samsung Galaxy S8 Bixby

Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant could be upgraded with generative artificial intelligence technology, executive says

Samsung Electronics is reportedly considering adding generative artificial intelligence (AI) technology to its voice assistant Bixby.

This is what a top company executive told CNBC, who reportedly said that Samsung needs to ‘redefine’ its voice assistant Bixby with a generative AI upgrade.

In January this year Samsung unveiled its portfolio of S24 smartphones, and at that time revealed the handsets would include Google’s generative AI technology, which it is calling ‘Galaxy AI’.

Samsung Galaxy S24 portfolio.
Image credit Samsung

Bixby upgrade

Under the multi-year deal, Samsung’s flagship S24 series will use in-built Gemini Nano, Google’s most-efficient large-language model, and get cloud access to Gemini Pro and Imagen 2 text-to-image tech.

But now CNBC has reported that Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant, which is embedded across the company’s devices, from smartphones and smartwatches to its appliances, could receive an generative AI upgrade in order to enhance the appeal of its devices.

It comes after Samsung in Q4 2023 had lost market share to Apple and Chinese smartphone makers Xiaomi and Transsion, with global shipments (according to IDC) falling to 53 million units from nearly 60 million a year earlier.

Bixby was launched back in 2017 with Samsung’s Galaxy S8 smartphone, and rivals Apple’s Siri. The assistant offered a number of functions, including live translations or restaurant recommendations.

Samsung Bixby

Chatbot domination

However voice assistants are typically seen as less conversational and have relied on users asking questions and getting answers.

In February 2023 Samsung updated its Bixby personal assistant with enhanced language recognition, as well as the Bixby Custom Voice Creator, where users can record different sentences for Bixby to analyse and create an AI generated copy of their voice and tone.

Despite all this, AI Chatbots have leapfrogged personal voice assistants in terms of functionality, and are more advanced, and able to handle much more complex queries.

Bixby does not have the capabilities of ChatGPT, which is leading Samsung to explore a possible upgrade.

“So Bixby has been a key voice assistants voice assistant for Samsung not just for the mobile devices, but also for TVs and digital appliances that exist in Samsung’s ecosystem,” Won-joon Choi, executive vice president at Samsung’s mobile business, told CNBC in an interview last month. “So it has been the core voice assistant assistant so far.”

“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 more smarter in the future,” Choi was quoted as saying, adding this will “enable a more natural conversation and to work out an interface that supports the Samsung products in our ecosystem.”

Choi did not give a timeline when Bixby may get generative AI features, but said that Samsung is “working so hard” to deliver them.