Samsung hasn’t been shy about wanting to spread AI features like Bixby beyond its mobile devices. But how far is it willing to go? Very far, actually. The company’s Kim Hyun-suk told the Wall Street Journal that he expects AI features to be available in all Samsung products by 2020. It’ll accomplish that in part by building up a team of 1,000 AI-focused engineers in the same time frame, including reassignments for some staff. In theory, that makes it easier to use Samsung’s many, many devices, and gives it a way of standing out compared to its less-connected peers.
Kim added that dedicated smart speakers wouldn’t be quite so important if every device you had could effectively take over that role.
Whether or not it helps is another matter. Right now, Bixby is undercooked next to the likes of Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, with limited functionality and a stiff presentation. Bixby 2.0’s debut should help, but Samsung still has a long way to go to catch up. It may have to count on its ubiquity in electronics to overcome aversion to its in-house AI, regardless of how quickly the technology improves.