Virtual assistants are taking off. It wasn’t too long ago that the only real digital assistants to speak of were Apple’s Siri and Google Now, the predecessor to the new Google Assistant. Now, however, every manufacturer seems to be working on their own assistant — and Samsung, which has dubbed its creation Bixby, is no exception.
In fact, Bixby is only weeks away from its rumored debut in the Samsung Galaxy S8, and it’s increasingly looking like the assistant will be a major competitor to Google Assistant — something that Google can’t be too happy about. Still, Samsung claims that this competition is actually a good thing — and that it will help push artificial intelligence forward.
Despite the fact that Bixby will only run on Samsung products, the competition between Bixby and Assistant may cause Google and Samsung to try and outdo each other — which would help make their respective assistants better and better. We may already be seeing that, as Bixby is rumored to include a number of promising features that Assistant doesn’t offer.
According to reports, it’s not all about the competition. South Korean publication The Investor notes that Samsung wants to “collaborate as well as compete” with Google to help push AI ahead.
“Samsung and Google will have to continue to maintain their strategic partnership to nurture the AI and the market for the emerging technology,” said Lee Kyeong-tae, a member of Samsung’s mobile division, in the report.
Samsung and Google aren’t the only companies building digital assistants. HTC just announced its own digital assistant, called the Sense Companion. The new assistant will feature in the HTC U Ultra, HTC’s new flagship device that’s now up for pre-order in the U.S. from HTC’s website. It will be interesting to see how all these assistants help push AI.