Samsung to Offer Digital Assistant Service in Galaxy S8
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said on Sunday it would launch an artificial intelligence digital assistant service for its upcoming Galaxy S8 smartphone, seeking to rebound from the Galaxy Note 7’s collapse and differentiate its devices.
The world’s top smartphone maker in October announced the acquisition of Viv Labs Inc, a firm run by a co-creator of Apple Inc’s Siri voice assistant program. Samsung plans to integrate the San Jose-based company’s AI platform, called Viv, into the Galaxy smartphones and expand voice-assistant services to home appliances and wearable technology devices.
What is Digital Assistant Service
A personal digital assistant (PDA), also known as a handheld PC, or personal data assistant, is a mobile device that functions as a personal information manager. The term evolved from Personal Desktop Assistant, a software term for an application that prompts or prods the user of a computer with suggestions or provides quick reference to contacts and other lists. PDAs were largely discontinued in the early 2010s after the widespread adoption of highly capable smartphones, in particular those based on iOS and Android.
Nearly all PDAs have the ability to connect to the Internet. A PDA has an electronic visual display, enabling it to include a web browser, all models also have audio capabilities enabling use as a portable media player, and also enabling most of them to be used as mobile phones. Most PDAs can access the Internet, intranets or extranets via Wi-Fi or Wireless Wide Area Networks. Most PDAs employ touchscreen technology.
Samsung is counting on the Galaxy S8 to help revive smartphone momentum after scrapping the fire-prone Galaxy Note 7, which will hit its profit by $5.4 billion over three quarters through the first quarter of 2017.
Investors and analysts say the Galaxy S8 must be a strong device in order for Samsung to win back customers and revive earnings momentum.
The Galaxy S8 will let users order food or perform other tasks without going through a third-party application but by simply asking the phone’s virtual assistant, Samsung said in a statement. The artificial intelligence service will also be made available in Samsung’s other consumer electronics products, such as refrigerators.
The company declined to disclose what specific tasks the S8 phone will perform through its artificial intelligence feature.
It said the AI assistant would allow customers to use third-party service seamlessly.
“Developers can attach and upload services to our agent,” said Samsung Executive Vice President Rhee In-jong during a briefing, referring to its AI assistant.
“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.”
Executives at Samsung and Viv Labs said that the biggest difference between the existing digital assistant and the one they are jointly developing is that the latter will be an “open AI platform,” meaning that third-party developers will be able to offer their services through Samsung’s AI platform.
“Our Galaxy smartphones don’t provide services that enable consumers to order pizza or coffee, but does provide third party applications. But the new AI platform will enable consumers to do things that they would usually do through a separate third party application,” Samsung’s statement said.
Alphabet Inc’s Google is widely considered to be the leader in AI, but others including Amazon.com, Apple and Microsoft Corp have launched their own offerings including voice-powered digital assistants.