Since its release back in 2017, Samsung's AI assistant, Bixby, has primarily been lagging behind the smart assistants of its rivals. Eclipsed by Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana, and Amazon's Alexa, Bixby has mostly been an AI assistant with a lot of untapped potential.
This year, however, Samsung is looking to close the gap between Bixby and its rivals. In an interview with The Korea Herald after speaking at an AI press conference on Thursday, Gray G. Lee, head of the AI Center under Samsung Research, stated that the company's next flagship smartphone would feature Bixby 2.0.
The Samsung executive did not specifically name the Galaxy Note 9, but he did state that the company's flagship for the latter half of 2018 will feature the upgraded AI assistant. Considering that the Galaxy Note 9 is expected to be released sometime during the second half of this year, Lee's statement seems to be nothing short of an announcement that Bixby 2.0 will indeed debut with this year's flagship phablet.
Lee noted that Bixby 2.0 would include improvements to its natural language processes. The assistant will also be considerably faster than its first iteration. Last but not least, Bixby 2.0 will also feature improved noise resistance capability. With these improvements, Bixby would be able to provide smart assistance to the Galaxy Note 9's users, though it might still be a few steps behind Google's Assistant, which recently debuted the capability to book restaurants for its users.
"Samsung's AI vision has five directions: user-centric, always learning, always there, always helpful and always safe," Lee said, according to The Korea Herald.As noted in a Trusted Reviews report, rumors are high that the Galaxy Note 9 would be released around August this year, placing it roughly a month ahead of the iPhone X2, Apple's flagship device for 2018, which is expected to be released sometime in September.
Bixby 2.0 will be compatible with Samsung's older premium devices. For Samsung, however, Bixby is an opportunity to connect its ecosystem of devices together. Samsung, after all, does not only produce smartphones. The company also has a formidable line of appliances that can take advantage of the AI assistant. This year alone, Samsung introduced Bixby to its smart TVs. If Samsung does pull off Bixby 2.0 with the Note 9, there might be hope for the company's potentially disruptive AI assistant yet.