The English version of Bixby was delayed over big data issues, i.e. Samsung's inability to amass the data it desires, a representative of the South Korean original equipment manufacturer (OEM) said on Tuesday, as first reported by The Korea Herald. According to the company official, Bixby still doesn't have access to vast amounts of user data and isn't accumulating it at a rapid pace, which is consequently slowing down its development. Gathering and analyzing big data is a crucial component of deep learning solutions that allow artificial intelligence (AI) services like Bixby to learn and adapt to new situations and problems.
Bixby was released in Samsung's home country alongside the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus earlier this year, though the digital assistant missed its spring release window in the United States and is currently only available stateside as part of the company's highly experimental beta test. Industry insiders previously said that the companion is struggling with learning the grammar and nuances of the English language, though they didn't elaborate on the matter, with this latest update seemingly shedding more light on the situation; like any other contemporary AI solution, Bixby relies on processing massive amounts of data in order to learn anything, language included, and with the companion still being used by a relatively small number of people, its progress is equally slow. Access to big data is how Amazon managed to quickly develop and improve Alexa, seizing the vast majority of the smart speaker market in the United States in the process, and it's also how the Google Assistant is evolving in a relatively swift manner.
Apart from the aforementioned issue, the English version of Bixby is also said to be suffering due to communications problems within Samsung itself as the company's U.S.-based engineers aren't communicating with their Korean colleagues in real time, thus additionally slowing down the tech giant's development efforts, according to people with knowledge of the matter. It's currently unclear how long will the Seoul-based electronics manufacturer take to develop a stable version of Bixby Voice for English-speaking consumers but an update on its efforts to do so should follow in the coming months.