Samsung Will Have Its Own Digital Assistant in Galaxy S8

By Xyla Joelle L. Fernandez

Nov 07, 2016 06:00 AM EST

Samsung on Sunday said it will bring an artificial intelligence digital assistant to its upcoming Galaxy S8 smartphone, as the phone giant looks to recover after its massive Galaxy Note 7 blunder.

The digital assistant will allow Galaxy S8 users to perform tasks like ordering food or making a calendar appointment, without having to launch third-party applications. Users will simply be able to speak to the digital assistant.

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.

Samsung is expected to launch the Galaxy S8 in the spring. Details like the digital assistant's design and compatible services are still unknown.

Investors and analysts say the Galaxy S8 must be a strong device in order for Samsung to win back customers and revive earnings momentum.

Samsung did not comment on what types of services would be offered through the AI assistant that will be launched on the Galaxy S8, which is expected to go on sale early next year. It said the AI assistant would allow customers to use third-party service seamlessly.

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.

The AI space has began to heat up, with Google taking focus on its own Assistant found on the Pixel smartphone line. Google previously said Google Assistant will be its next big open platform along with search, advertising, maps, Android, and Play.

Samsung also hopes to differentiate its devices, from phones to fridges, by incorporating AI. Competition from Google's new Pixel smartphones, armed with the U.S. firm's voice-powered digital assistant, adds to the urgency.

The South Korean firm has said it plans more acquisitions to bolster its AI and other software capabilities

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