Samsung’s hugely hyped up virtual assistant titled Bixby was set to be launched with the Galaxy S8. While the flagship S8 did launch, it ended up with a much stripped down version of Bixby that was anticipated. If a recent report is anything to go by, the real reason for this may have to do with Samsung’s inability to lay its hand on a vast trove of data.
The Korean Herald is reporting that the reason Bixby was delayed was because Samsung didn’t have enough data to train the virtual assistant with. A Samsung spokesperson told the Herald: “Developing Bixby in other languages is taking more time than we expected mainly because of the lack of the accumulation of big data.”. While Google and Amazon have been collecting vast amounts of data which has helped them launch their virtual assistants Home and Echo respectively in a timely manner (although one could argue that Google is still late), Samsung apparently was too late to jump into the AI bandwagon. The result is a Bixby that’s more of an unwanted forceful addition to phones than the smarthome connector Samsung was hoping it would be.
Yet another reason cited by the same source for Bixby’s delays have to do with communication between teams in the US and the management in Korea. Sharing constant updates and progress with the team seated miles away has supposedly been a painful task. While Beta tests of Bixby have begun (with some rather amusing results), sources say it should be unveiled in Q3 2017 or at most by fall. Let’s hope Samsung is able to iron out the flaws and come up with what could otherwise be, a promising voice assistant capable of context-sensitive understanding.