Samsung has taken the lid off Bixby; the new AI assistant that’s set to be released with the Samsung Galaxy S8. Bixby won’t be limited to the top level devices either, as Samsung says that it intends to bake the AI into all its smart devices (including refrigerators and air conditioning units).
Bixby is designed to integrate completely into all apps that support it. According to Samsung, this means that it will be able to perform all functions available to those apps. It will also be able to understand contextual voice commands based on what’s going on. Essentially, it will function in the same way as the Google AI assistant.
Earlier rumours had already revealed the existence of Bixby, and the specific button for it on the Galaxy S8. Ideally, this allows users to activate Bixby without unlocking their devices. Interestingly, there’s no word on whether the AI can be activated through voice commands in the same manner as Siri or Cortana.
For now, it looks like Bixby will only be integrated into Samsung’s own apps. The company says that the plan is to release the SDK to third party developers in the future, although hasn’t provided a timeline for when this will happen. It’s an odd choice of words for the announcement, since it implies that Samsung has not been working with Android developers to provide more Bixby enable apps at launch.
Bixby will be present at the Samsung Galaxy S8 launch on 29 March. Presumably, this is where we will be seeing it in action for the first time.