Samsung Breaks Down How Bixby Will Evolve Alongside Galaxy AI

Samsung Breaks Down How Bixby Will Evolve Alongside Galaxy AIsamsung-galaxy-s24-s24-plus-5672.jpg

It’s been a big year for virtual assistants. Apple, Google and OpenAI announced upgrades for their respective Siri, Gemini and ChatGPT digital helpers in recent months that will enable them to understand additional context and sound more natural. Samsung, meanwhile, has been relatively quiet about its Bixby voice assistant while drumming up excitement about Galaxy AI, its collection of AI-powered software features for Galaxy devices. 

This story is part of Samsung Event, CNET’s collection of news, tips and advice around Samsung’s most popular products.

But Samsung has big plans for Bixby, according to Patrick Chomet, the company’s executive vice president and head of customer experience. In the future, Bixby will understand a lot more than simple voice commands and images as Samsung incorporates large language models and the ability to process more types of inputs, like gesture and text, into its digital helper. It’s an important effort considering virtual assistants are once again in the spotlight thanks to the surging interest in generative AI.

“Bixby will evolve in that direction, and we believe the service with that technology will be much more useful and compelling,” he said.

Read more: Why Oura’s CEO Isn’t Worried About Samsung’s Galaxy Ring

Samsung Breaks Down How Bixby Will Evolve Alongside Galaxy AI Samsung Breaks Down How Bixby Will Evolve Alongside Galaxy AIflip-6-and-fold-6-thumb4

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Chomet sat down with CNET just ahead of Samsung’s July 10 Unpacked event, where Galaxy AI and its role on the company’s foldable phones and wearable devices was the star of the show. Throughout 2024, Samsung’s attention has seemingly been fixated on Galaxy AI, which includes tools for rewriting text in a different tone, adding or removing content from photos and translating phone calls in real time. In fact, Chomet says Samsung decided the Galaxy S24 was going to be the starting point for Galaxy AI about 18 months ago and came up with “gazillions of ideas,” only a fraction of which made it into the company’s phones. 

However, you’d be mistaken to think that Galaxy AI is replacing Bixby as the sole vessel for infusing the company’s smartphones with more AI. According to Chomet, Bixby and Galaxy AI serve two distinct purposes. Bixby is primarily a service for helping you get things done more quickly and efficiently on your Samsung device, while Galaxy AI is meant to make all aspects of your phone’s user interface, or “touchpoints” as Chomet calls them, more intelligent and intuitive. In other words, Bixby is a specific service, while Galaxy AI is about upgrading the entire phone’s interface. 

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Together, Chomet says services like Bixby and Google’s Gemini, along with Galaxy AI, will make your phone much better at understanding what you’re trying to do with it — ideally so that you don’t have to open as many apps to get things done. 

“There is a big transformation coming, which is [that] the whole user interface becomes intelligent,” he said. “And that will change completely the whole landscape.”

A world in which we don’t need to open apps often to accomplish tasks on our phone isn’t that far out according to Chomet, who estimates that such a shift could happen over the next couple of years. And he’s not the only one; Google’s Sameer Samat shared a similar vision when speaking with CNET in January, which perhaps shouldn’t be surprising considering how closely the two companies work together. 

Startups such as Rabbit and Humane AI have also explored the idea of becoming less reliant on apps through new types of devices, like Rabbit’s handheld voice-enabled device and Humane’s AI pin, although both devices were panned by critics for not living up to expectations.

So when will Bixby get these upgrades? Chomet couldn’t get specific, but simply said, “We’ll tell you when it’s there,” adding that the company is currently working on it.

But he did cite an example of how Bixby could get better at managing Samsung devices in the future. If you ask a question such as the timing of an upcoming sports game, for example, Bixby should be able to intelligently add that to your calendar and set an alarm. That sounds similar to Apple’s direction with the upgraded version of Siri it announced at WWDC, which will be able to answer questions in a more personalized way based on context from your phone.

“The ability to interact in natural language I think is transformative,” he said. “And I think that’s a big opportunity for us as a device maker.”

Samsung also announced preorder information for some of its newest devices, including the Galaxy Z Flip 6 and the Galaxy Ring. 

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