Samsung to launch Siri-like digital assistant with Galaxy S8

People are silhouetted as they pose with mobile devices in front of a screen projected with a Samsung logo. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Nov 07, 2016, 09.46 AM (IST)

Samsung Electronics will launch a Siri-like digital assistant with the launch of its upcoming Galaxy S8 smartphone. This new announcement from Samsung comes across as a way to rebound from the Galaxy Note 7's collapse.

The South Korean giant, in October, announced the acquisition of California-based Viv Labs, a prominent US artificial intelligence (AI) startup founded by the creators of Siri - the voice-based digital assistant used on the iPhones of arch-rival Apple.

Samsung now 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.

The company will first bring the new digital assistant to its upcoming Galaxy S8 smartphone. 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.

While there is no clear word on what all services would be part of this new AI assistant, which is expected to be announced early next week, the company has clarified that the new digital assistant on Samsung phones will allow customers to seamlessly use third-party services.

"Developers can attach and upload services to our agent," said Samsung Executive Vice President Rhee Injong 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,” he added.

Samsung has been trying for years to bolster voice-based services for its handsets to compete against iPhone's Siri.

The "S Voice" software installed on Samsung’s handsets has never been warmly embraced by consumers.

Technology firms are locked in an increasingly heated race to make AI good enough to let consumers interact with their devices more naturally, especially by voice.

(WION with inputs from agencies)