At Samsung's press conference today at CES 2019, it announced a few new updates for Bixby - the company's personal assistant. It is expanding Bixby's availability, adding it to more products, and also adding more partners that will work with Bixby. Bixby is going to be available on virtually everything that Samsung makes - including its 2019 QLED and Premium TVs, smart appliances, mobile devices, AI speakers and more. Samsung also announced that Bixby is expanding to a new Digital Cockpit and robotics platforms. Samsung is essentially taking the same path that Google is with its assistant, and bringing Bixby to every facet of your life. Watching TV and wonder what the weather is like? Just ask Bixby. Need to know when your load of laundry is finished? Bixby will let you know. On stage, Samsung did a demo of how Bixby works on its TVs, and it's fairly similar to how Google Assistant works on a TV. You can use the far-field microphone on your remote to talk to Bixby, and it will show up on the bottom quarter of the TV with your information.
Samsung is integrating Bixby into some of Google's most popular apps
Samsung is expanding the ecosystem for Bixby and announced that Google is going to be one of its partners. This means that you are going to see deeper integration into Google Maps, YouTube, Gmail and much more. It may seem a bit surprising to see Google and Samsung working together here, but this means that Bixby is going to become more useful for Samsung, and for Google it means more people are going to use their services even more. There are other partners that Bixby also announced, including Uber and Ticketmaster, with iHeartRadio having just joined as a partner today. Adding Bixby support in these apps means that you can ask Bixby to play a specific radio station on iHeartRadio, on your Galaxy Home (if that ever launches), or have Bixby remind you about a concert that you bought tickets for on Ticketmaster. As the last thing you'd want is to forget about the concert that you spent a ton of cash on tickets for.
The core AI philosophy for Samsung includes Fairness, Accountability and Transparency
As artificial intelligence is becoming a larger part of our lives, companies are needing to create and announce a philosophy for their artificial intelligence products, so that they aren't taking advantage of us. According to Samsung, theirs is "Fairness, Accountability and Transparency." Samsung says that as it builds its algorithms, it is making sure that they are inclusive and that "protection of user information and privacy" are the company's top priorities. Samsung also wants to make it easy for customers to understand what the company does with the data and how it is handled.
This is important now, primarily because of all of the recent news surrounding Facebook. The social network that said it would never sell your data, has been selling your data - and has been very careless about doing it. This is scarring other companies, as they are unsure what kind of government regulation is going to come down, regarding customers' information. So Samsung is making sure that their t's are crossed and i's are dotted here, and being transparent on how it uses the data that it gets from its customers
Samsung's not giving up on Bixby
Despite the many complaints about Bixby, and how rough the assistant was when it debuted almost two years ago, Samsung is showing that they are not giving up on this assistant just yet. Today it announced that it was being integrated into virtually everything that Samsung makes. Though Samsung did not talk much about the Galaxy Home that was announced last year and still doesn't have a release date or pricing. Many were hoping that Samsung might give up on Bixby, because many don't want multiple personal assistants on their phone (and the dedicated button is a bit annoying for most). But Samsung sees Bixby as a way for it to bring all of its services and products together in the Internet of Things. Instead of giving the keys to its products to someone like Amazon, Apple or Google, it wants to keep those keys to itself. By making their appliances and TVs work with Google Assistant, they would be handing over a ton of data as well. Not only that, but by creating its own assistant, Samsung is able to control what happens with this assistant, including adding new features, what products it supports and so forth. So unfortunately, we are in the age of personal assistants competing with each other, and that won't end anytime soon.