[THE INVESTOR] Samsung Electronics' first artificial intelligence assistant Bixby is having a hard time learning languages beyond Korean, with the crucial English and Chinese launches being delayed.
“Bixby’s linguistic capabilities are still unsatisfactory compared to its bigger rivals such as Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri,” an industry source told The Investor on condition of anonymity on June 27.
Samsung debuted Bixby on its latest flagship smartphone Galaxy S8 that was launched in April. Even though the Korean version became available in May, the launch of its English and Chinese versions are being delayed largely due to Samsung’s lack of resources such as data and experts specialized in foreign languages, sources said.
Samsung acquired US startup Viv Labs, the original company behind Apple’s Siri, in October last year with aims to develop its own version of an AI assistant. Viv Labs, however, didn’t participate in the current Bixby version that had already been developed before the acquisition.
Koh Dong-jin, Samsung’s mobile chief, said in April that the Chinese and English versions could hit the market in May and June, respectively. Samsung is offering the English version to select Galaxy S8 users for the beta test that is still underway.
“We are still working on improving the linguistic skills in order to provide a more advanced AI assistant that meets user needs,” a Samsung spokesperson said of the delayed launch.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)