Update (05/18): It looks like those 1,000 extra engineers may have their work cut out for them as Samsung has since revealed (via Yonhap) that it is planning to install Bixby in all its IoT products by 2020.
While Bixby is currently available on some of the firm’s smartphones and smart TVs, Samsung is also planning to include Bixby on its air conditioners, air purifiers, lights, and even robot vacuum cleaners.
This would be a major boost for Bixby’s functionality in the long-term as it would increase the number of people using the service. The more people that use the service, the more data that smart speakers receive, and the more data Samsung has to work with to improve Bixby.
As a side note, the day I tell my robot cleaner to start vacuuming the floor, and it actually does, is the day I am 100% satisfied with the advances of modern technology.
Original article (05/17): Samsung has revealed that it wants to expand its AI workforce as it looks to develop its Bixby personal assistant. This is according to Kim Hyun-seok, the head of Samsung’s consumer electronics division.
Speaking at a media day for Samsung Home IoT and Bixby (via Yonhap), he said that the company needs more than one thousand engineers to be able to develop the company’s vision of AI. However, he pointed out that there is a shortage of experts in this area.
He also suggested that Samsung could look into acquiring other AI-related companies if their technology impresses. This comes as Samsung was recently rumored to have been interested in the purchase of Nokia Health, before it was sold back to its original founders.
Bixby first launched on the Samsung Galaxy S8. While there were some teething problems with the roll-out, the situation has since improved, and Bixby is now available in many of Samsung’s smart products. The company is expected to roll out a new version, Bixby 2.0, sometime this year.
The competition in the industry is tough, however: Google and Amazon’s AI assistants are far more popular than Samsung’s, and Apple recently hired Google’s former head of search and artificial intelligence to bolster its assistant, Siri. Job advert data suggests it’s actively hiring more AI specialists further down the company too.