Samsung has announced that next year's Galaxy S8 smartphone will come equipped with its very own artificially intelligent assistant service.
It’s not clear how long Samsung has been planning to integrate this technology into its phones, but it was only as recently as October that the company announced its acquisition of Viv Labs Inc. Viv Labs is a firm run by a co-creator of Apple’s voice assistant, Siri, and Samsung is planning to introduce Viv into its home appliances and wearable technology as well as its smartphones.
Following the short and fairly catastrophic lifespan of the Galaxy Note 7 it’s important that the S8 be a standout device for Samsung to win back customers. Offering an AI assistant like market leaders Google and Apple is a good start.
Keep up with the competition
Samsung hasn’t made it clear what services the AI assistant will be able to provide. It has, however, said it will work seamlessly with third-party apps.
Reuters reports that Samsung’s Executive Vice President Rhee Injong said during a briefing that developers "can attach and upload services to our agent”, adding: “Even if Samsung doesn't do anything on its own, the more services that get attached the smarter this agent will get, learn more new services and provide them to end-users with ease.”
Working seamlessly with a large number of third-party apps is something that will give Samsung’s AI assistant a slight advantage over Apple’s Siri which, while working with some third-party apps, doesn’t work seamlessly with nearly enough of them to be truly useful.
Samsung hopes that including an AI assistant in its products will help to differentiate it. Though including a service that many market leaders already have seems counter-intuitive to the idea of differentiation, having its own AI will literally give Samsung’s products a distinct voice of their own.
Additionally, if the company can advance AI technology rather than just keep up with the competition, it could help the S8 stand out in the way it needs to.