After Google, Amazon, Apple and HTC, it is now the turn of Samsung to dabble with the idea of an AI (artificial intelligence) powered personal assistant app, called Bixby.

It will be available on Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S8 flagship smartphone which is expected to launch in the next few days.

Initially, this new personal assistant will only work with a bunch of pre-loaded apps and will be available with Samsung phones that will be launched this year and beyond. Since it relies on dedicated hardware, it will not work with existing Samsung Galaxy phones. However, Samsung is working on an SDK (software development kit) tool for developers that will allow them to integrate Bixby into their apps too.

Bixby is the outcome of Samsung’s new-found interest in AI-based tools and led it to acquire US-based AI VIV Labs last year so that it can compete with its rival apple’s siri.

Bixby is a voice- and touch-enabled personal assistant and works on similar lines as Google Assistant but with some extra features, according to Samsung.

Bixby can be activated anytime, even when the phone is locked, through a dedicated button.

In a regular scenario, to make a phone call, users have to unlock the phone, look for the phone app and search for the contact they want to call in the contact search bar. Even in Google Assistant, users will have to unlock the phone to ask it to make a call. With Bixby-enabled smartphones, users can make a call by pressing the dedicated button that will feature on upcoming Samsung Galaxy phones (such as the upcoming Galaxy S8) and command Bixby to make a call.

According to Samsung, users can launch Bixby in any app that is compatible with it and ask for help. Bixby can gather context and will try to understand what is going on the screen and provide help accordingly. It sounds a lot like Google’s Now on Tap feature which also helped users by understanding the content in any app and showed more options with related content. With Bixby, users can get things done through voice commands as well as touch-based inputs, unlike Google Now on Tap, which relied on physical inputs on the touch display to select an option or menu.

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