After being delayed due to its lack of bilingual ability, Samsung's Bixby AI helper is finally ready for global prime time.
UPDATE 20/7/2017: Samsung announced that Bixby is rolling out to Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus phones in the US, officially supporting US English.
However there is no word when Bixby will be rolling out in other languages besides Korean and US English, with Samsung only saying that more languages and countries will be seeing Bixby “in the near future”. Let’s hope that Bixby is better at handling other languages than it is English, or that Samsung has learned to speed up Bixby’s language learning process.
UPDATE 6/7/2017: Samsung's Bixby is still struggling and reportedly facing more than language issues. Samsung's spokesperson says that "the lack of the accumulation of big data" is the cause behind Samsung's problem in porting Bixby to other languages. Language and geography have also been barriers in the communication between Samsung's US and Korea offices.
The earliest that Bixby will go live in countries outside of South Korea is likely the later part of July. It's a shame that Bixby has been embarassingly delayed considering the heavy promotion Samsung has given to Bixby, even including a dedicated Bixby button on the Samsung Galaxy S8.
Still, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are solid phones even without Bixby so let's hope it goes live by the time the Galaxy Note 8 launches.
It wasn't surprising that Bixby struggled to be capable with English, as it was coded by Samsung's Korean-speaking engineers. An Early Access Program was open for a limited time for US testers and they were able to see first-hand what Bixby could do.
Like Siri, Bixby needs users to undergo some voice-training, letting it adjust to your voice. With the beta now live, it's estimated that the public version of Bixby will hit the US very soon.
We got to try Bixby out and here are our impressions, who unfortunately isn't as wisecracky as Siri.
Still if your dream of a robotic AI is one that listens and responds efficiently, minus the snark, then wait for Bixby's impending arrival on your Galaxy S8. Which we think is probably the best Android smartphone right now.