Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Launch of Bixby Voice in the US delayed due to lack of enough big data

Samsung was supposed to launch the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8+ with Bixby, one of its major features. However, when the phone was launched in Korea as well as in the US, Bixby’s voice capabilities weren’t activated, and it took the company months before the feature was launched in its home market South Korea. Samsung recently started accepting beta testers for Bixby Voice in the US.

It is now being reported by The Korea Herald that Samsung delayed the launch of English version of Bixby Voice due to the lack of enough big data accumulation. Big data is the key technology for deep learning, and it works best when there’s a lot of data accumulated from all over the web. “Developing Bixby in other languages is taking more time than we expected mainly because of the lack of the accumulation of big data,” a Samsung spokesperson told the publication.

Samsung was late in adopting big data, and other tech giants, including Amazon, Apple, and Google are far ahead of Samsung in this regard. Another reason for the delay of Bixby Voice in the US is the communication gap between Samsung engineers in Korea and in California. As per the information received from insiders, Samsung is expected to fully launch Bixby Voice in the US sometime this fall.

Many engineers in the US are making full efforts to develop the English version. But, (due to geographical and language barriers) their frequent reports to and communication with the management located in Korea makes the progress much slower than developing the Korean version here,” said a source on the condition of anonymity. Consumers in the US who opted to beta test Bixby Voice weren’t too impressed due to problems in voice recognition.

London-based consultancy firm Ovum has predicted that Bixby will become the second largest AI-driven voice assistant service after Google Assistant by 2021. However, we’re not sure how that prediction will pan out since Amazon is way ahead in this game, and a lot of firms are tying into Alexa’s skills. As per the report, Google Assistant, Bixby, Siri, Alexa, and Cortana will have a market shares of 23.3%, 14.5%, 13.1%, 3.9%, and 2.3%, respectively.

Samsung acquired Viv Labs – makers of Apple’s Siri – last year for around $215, but the company didn’t include its AI skills into Bixby. It will add Viv Labs’ AI prowess to Bixby when it completes the full development. If you’re from Korea or the US, how has been your experience with Bixby Voice? Let us know in the comments below.