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Samsung Is Delaying the 'Voice' Part of Its New Bixby Voice Assistant (washingtonpost.com) 38

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Washington Post: A much-touted feature of Samsung's next smartphones isn't going to work as advertised when the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ launch April 21. Samsung said it's delaying the launch of voice-command capabilities for its Bixby voice assistant in English, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Although some of its features will still work, the report said, Bixby -- Samsung's answer to Apple's Siri -- won't be able to respond to any user voice commands, perhaps until as late as May. The Korean-language version of Bixby will have all of its features at launch, the Journal report said. The reason this is a big deal is because Samsung has touted Bixby as a big new feature for the Galaxy S8. Not only is it baked into the software, but it features a dedicated Bixby button on the lefthand side of the phone. The new assistant is designed to "perform almost every task that the app normally supports using touch," according to PhoneDog. "It'll be able to understand the current context and the state of the app that you're in without interrupting the work that you're doing," and will be able to "understand commands with incomplete commands, meaning you don't have to remember the exact phrase that you have to say to perform a task with an assistant."
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Samsung Is Delaying the 'Voice' Part of Its New Bixby Voice Assistant

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    • Why couldn't they have turned Japanese on instead. I don't want to try learning another Asian language. Their learning curves seem to all start out with a 100ft vertical made of wet ice. At least I'm at the 80ft mark with Japanese...
      • The closest thing the planet has to a "universal language", at least as far as first-world nations go, is English (and that is not saying that English is anything special- it is very descriptive and colorful, but certainly not one of the easier languages out there). I can understand them getting their native language (Korean) working first, but would expect the second would probably be English.

      • Uh, I think Korea's history with Japan precludes any possibility that Japanese would be the first (or second or even third) language available. After Korean, English and then probably Chinese they might work on Japanese but that would only be if it was a major market for their phones. I'm not sure but the same history might make Samsung products relatively unpopular in Japan.

  • It is a Samsung device, after all.
  • by sit1963nz ( 934837 ) on Wednesday April 12, 2017 @05:49PM (#54225353)
    Yet again, Marketing is promising things Engineering have not yet completed.

    This is not a new phenomenon .
    • If you can read, you might want to consider parsing the words such that you understand the promised features to have been completed in Korean, with English localization expected to be finished in a month or two.

      tldr; completed is different than not completed

      • Until its there, its vapourware.

        English is a very difficult language , too many words sound the same, too many words have multiple meanings (The word "set" has 464 meanings), too many accents in addition to more localised slang (look up "Dench" and "Shit the bed" for the UK, "Stink" , "Munted" and "Jafa" from New Zealand).

        Google and Apple have been doing this (often badly) for years and still don't get it right (though Google is better than Siri (and I use Siri)). If they release it as soon as they say,
        • My favorite word issue with Apple was when they introduced SCSI they wanted it to be pronounced "sexy" and for their effort they were rewarded with "scuzzy."

          Apple just tried too hard that time.

          English mixes numerous languages, that is the real reason why it is the common language.

          The thing about the voice processing features is that it doesn't really matter. If it can accurately differentiate the sounds used in the language, then even old-school search algorithms can find the repeating patterns in the sampl

  • by jediborg ( 4808835 ) on Wednesday April 12, 2017 @05:49PM (#54225357)
    "SURE! we can spend months getting this voice recognition software to work perfectly with the Korean spoken language. If we need to support other languages like English all we'll have to do is import the new languages config settings, should only take a week or two!"
  • This is a non-story. Nobody was going to use the Bixby assistant anyway.

    • The point of stories like this is that some people dislike Samsung, and want to wave their eToilets in the air and shout, "hA-Ha!" and feel superior.

      Others of us simply gaze lovingly at the nearest text terminal and smugly deride voice controls.

      Don't worry, you'll figure out this "slashdot stuff" once you've been here a few more years.

      • Try working with the blind and you will see how important voice controls are.
        Try working with the dyslexic and see how important voice controls are
        Try working with the intellectually handicapped and see how important voice controls are
        • You can just say "accessibility," you don't have to drag people's medical information out.

          People who need special features from their technology should not be wasting their time worrying about a new model of phone having those features in Korea a month and a half before they have it in the US. That is just silly. They have real problems to focus on, like using the voice controls they already have.

          This story relates to technology fads, brand teams, and nationalism, it has nothing at all to do with accessibil

    • This guy gets it.

  • I wish Samsung would stop polluting the delicate internet ecosystem with their bad software. It's bad in UI design, it's bad security-wise, and it's bad in intended purpose (wrest control from google). What's the bet this so-called "Bixby" (scoffs) has a frig-ton of security issues that siri and google assistant don't have? Samsung have demonstrated a lack of either skill or interest in writing secure software.
    The best phone I ever owned was a google nexus (admiteddly samsung hardware), simply because googl

  • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Thursday April 13, 2017 @03:22AM (#54227139)
    Samsung makes good hardware and then ruins it with firmware packed full of useless features and crapware. Frankly I doubt it matters if the S8 has a "dedicated button" or whether it responds to voice commands or not because nobody asked for the feature and very few are going to start using it whether it is there or not.
  • Regarless of the quality and success (I guess won't have much) they should really allow users to remap the button. That way it would be useful for everyone. Altough I wouldn't count on it since the trend lately seems to be not to let the user configure their devices much
  • "Bixby, can you please keep my phone from exploding in my pocket?"

    "I'm sorry, that's not implemented yet."

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