Apple, Samsung, LG, Xiaomi, others plan to ‘double down’ on artificial intelligence

facebook convolutional translation ai
When it comes to smartphones, voice and app controls apparently aren’t enough anymore. According to DigitTimes, Apple, Samsung, Huawei, LG, and Xiaomi plan to “double down” on the development of artificial intelligence features on mobile in order to help “ramp up market shares” in the coming months.

Apple is developing an “enhanced Siri,” the report claims, reportedly via its acquisition of machine learning and AI startup Turi. DigiTimes didn’t go into specifics, but says the improved voice assistant will feature “improved voice recognition,” enhanced “reliability,” and “better contextual understanding” of common requests. It will debut on an upcoming iPhone, either this year’s iPhone 8 or next year’s model.

An improved Siri platform would no doubt benefit the company’s long-rumored home speaker. The hardware voice assistant, which reportedly features a microphone and speaker array like Google’s Home and Amazon’s Echo, is expected to be able to play music, control smart-home devices compatible with Apple’s HomeKit platform, and set reminders and alarms.

Samsung, for its part, is expected to launch the Galaxy S8 in the coming months alongside an AI assistant code-named Bixby. It’s powered by technology the company acquired in its purchase of Viv, an artificial intelligence startup founded by much of the same engineering team responsible for Apple’s Siri, and it’s reportedly capable of conversational language and third-party integrations that perform tasks, dictate messages, and respond to queries on demand. According to more recent reports, Bixby’s processing chops will power image analysis and object identification.

Huawei, the world’s third-largest smartphone maker by volume, is reportedly prepping an expansion of its third- and first-party AI efforts. It recently launched the Mate 9 in the United States with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant pre-installed.

And it took the wraps off the Honor Magic in December, an AI-powered smartphone that intelligently recommends movies, launches driving modes, shows information like an incoming Uber’s license plate number, and reveals text message notifications only when it recognizes the owner’s likeness.

LG is said to be in talks with both Google and Amazon to incorporate elements of the companies’ respective AI assistants into several of its upcoming products. It introduced Alexa-powered home appliances earlier this year, and its next flagship smartphone, the LG G6, will reportedly be the first beyond the Pixel to feature the Google Assistant.

Chinese electronics maker Xiaomi launched an AI discovery lab in November, and is said to have invested “heavily” in machine learning. “Our artificial intelligence technology will be everywhere,” co-founder and vice-president Wong Kong Kat told the South China Morning Post on Wednesday. “Even a chair can be smart enough to understand you and move to where you would be seated.”

Even startups are investing resources in AI research and development. Andy Rubin, Google’s former head of Android, is reportedly aiming to launch a smartphone in mid-2017 with unspecified machine-learning features. “In order for AI to blossom and fulfill consumer needs, it has to be about data,” he said in June.

Plans are subject to change, of course, but one thing’s for certain: Our smartphones are about to get a whole lot smarter.

Deals

Amazon drops prices on Roomba robot vacuums by up to $150

Amazon is offering discounts on iRobot Roombas and other robot vacuums to help you get a leg-up on those chores. We've rounded up the best deals available now and put them all in one place.
Computing

Should you buy the affordable MacBook Air, or is the MacBook Pro worth the price?

Though they both share Retina Displays and similar keyboards, there are still some specs differences and other changes that differentiate the new 2018 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. In this guide, we stack the two up against each other.
Home Theater

Polk Audio’s Command Bar joins Alexa’s multiroom music party

Polk's Command Bar is a home theater soundbar with Alexa built in. But with a new update, it can also be grouped with Amazon's Echo products and other third-party speakers for a multi-room experience.
Smart Home

Here’s everything Amazon and its partners announced for Alexa at CES

Amazon Alexa is rocking CES 2019. After selling millions of Echo and Dot smart speakers during the 2018 holiday season, extending its reach everywhere, Amazon has announced a ton of new partnerships with device manufacturers.
Mobile

Join the Apple club with our complete guide to switching from Android to iOS

If Android simply isn’t cutting it for you anymore, then you might be considering Apple’s warm embrace. Here’s how to make the switch from Android to iOS without losing your contacts, sleep, or hair!
Mobile

It’s back! Here’s how to switch to Twitter’s reverse chronological feed

Twitter has finally brought back the reverse chronological feed, allowing you to see your feed based on the newest tweets, rather than using Twitter's algorithm that shows what it thinks you want to see. It's easy to switch.
Mobile

Want more power, but faster? This new charging tech claims it can deliver

Chunky power bricks and slow charging could be a thing of the past with GaNFast technology from Navitas Semiconductors. By using an alternative to silicon, GaNFast reduces power consumption and boosts output.
Mobile

Huawei in for a rough year as feds investigate alleged trade secrets theft

Huawei is also facing issues in the U.S., but it doesn't seem like that will end any time soon. According to a new report, the company is facing a federal investigation in the U.S. for allegedly stealing trade secrets.
Mobile

Having trouble logging in? Here’s how to reset your Apple ID password

To use any of Apple's services, you need to have an Apple ID and know your password. Thankfully, there are ways to deal with forgotten passwords and regain access to your account. Here's how to reset your Apple ID password.
Mobile

Android Q: Everything we know so far about Google’s next mobile OS

Android Pie recently rolled out, but it's already time to look ahead to Android Q, the next version of Google's mobile OS. We've seen a number of rumors and leaks come out about the operating system -- here's everything we know so far.
Mobile

Turn to these apps to help you in your next hunt for a job

Looking for a job can be a stressful experience, but these days, a simple mobile app can help you to find and apply for jobs all over the country -- here are some of the best job search apps for iOS and Android.
Wearables

Swatch and Mastercard team up for on-the-wrist, on-the-go mobile payments

Swatch has announced its Swatchpay technology is now available in Switzerland, enabling mobile payments from your Swatch watch. It works in a similar way to Apple Pay and Google Pay. Here's everything about it.
Mobile

Sony is showing something off at MWC -- will it be the Xperia XZ4?

Sony may have released the Xperia XZ3 in the past few months, but already it's preparing to release a follow-up, the Xperia XZ4. We're learning plenty about the phone now some details have started to leak out, and it's getting exciting.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best true wireless earbuds around.