Samsung to launch upgraded Bixby this year with its own AI

TM Roh, head of Samsung’s mobile division, discusses artificial intelligence features as part of Galaxy AI at the Galaxy Unpacked event in Paris, France on July 10, 2024.

Arjun Kharpal | CNBC

PARIS — Samsung will launch an upgraded version of its Bixby voice assistant this year based on the company’s own artificial intelligence model, the head of the company’s mobile business told CNBC.

Digital assistants are in the spotlight thanks to the popularity of OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Samsung’s head of mobile, TM Roh, told CNBC that the company will launch an upgraded Bixby this year that will use the South Korean tech giant’s own large language model, or LLM.

“We will develop Bixby by applying Gen AI technology,” Roh said in Korean through an interpreter.

Bixby launched in 2017 with Samsung’s Galaxy S8 smartphone. The voice assistant has a variety of features including live translation and restaurant recommendations. The Bixby Vision tool allows users to use the phone’s camera to scan anything in front of them and Bixby will then provide information about it.

CNBC previous report Samsung has been working on an upgraded Bixby, but this is the first time the company has confirmed a launch timeline.

Generative AI, or AI, is artificial intelligence that is capable of generating content such as answers to questions or images. LLM is an AI model, trained on massive amounts of data, that powers generative AI.

However, Samsung will maintain its strategy of enabling multiple voice assistants on its devices, Roh said. For example, Google’s AI assistant is available on Samsung’s latest devices.

Roh’s confirmation of the Bixby upgrade comes just over a month after Apple announce his assistant Siri will get an AI upgradeSiri will be able to use OpenAI’s ChatGPT as needed to answer additional questions.

The Bixby upgrade is part of a broader push by Samsung to bring AI features to market across its suite of devices. On Wednesday, the company launched two new foldable devices — Galaxy Z Fold6 and Z Flip6 — and announced some new AI tools aimed at nudging people to upgrade to higher-end smartphones.

“We are strengthening and adding more AI capabilities to our products,” Roh said.

“As consumers use more AI capabilities, they can really feel the convenience and benefits they bring. I strongly believe that Galaxy AI, mobile AI is a strong driver and motivator for new product purchases.”


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