The Korea Herald


Samsung offers glimpse of AI-powered Galaxy S8

By Shin Ji-hye

Published : Nov. 6, 2016 - 17:31

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Samsung Electronics’ next flagship smartphone Galaxy S8 will adopt an artificial intelligence platform, which will also be applied into all of its home appliances, the company said Friday.

“We will focus on how to provide more pleasure and convenience to users through VIV Labs’ AI solution,” Lee Jae-yong, Samsung Electronics’ vice chairman, said while meeting the chiefs of VIV Labs in the company’s Seocho office building in Seoul on Friday.

Lee added that Samsung would strengthen its technology leadership in the Internet of Things by integrating VIV Labs’ solution into its smartphones, home appliances and semiconductors.

VIV Labs is a Silicon Valley-based AI platform company set up by former key developers of Apple’s AI platform Siri. Samsung Electronics acquired the American tech firm in October with the aim of applying AI-powered voice recognition technologies in its digital devices and appliances.

Following the meeting with Lee, VIV Labs’ management and Samsung Electronics’ Vice President Rhee In-jong met reporters to give them a glimpse of how the new AI platform will be applied into the Galaxy S8 and the company’s other appliances.

Rhee said, “We are developing a key major interface which will bring about a totally new paradigm; an open AI platform.”

“The current Galaxy smartphones need separate applications for users, for instance, to order pizza or coffee. But, the new AI platform will enable them to order (or do) things directly without going through separate applications,” he explained.

The service is expected to be an upgraded version of the current intelligent personal assistant S Voice built into some devices of the Galaxy series, but its functions are still behind Apple Siri or Google Assistant.

The AI voice recognition technology will also be applied to Samsung’s home appliances in the future.

“(The AI platform) not only will work on smartphones, but will work with home appliances that you can also interact with, in your daily lives,” said VIV Labs’ CEO Dag Kittlaus.

“The focus is to make it work as a ‘connected technology,’ which will extend to all sorts of devices that users work on or use,” he added.

This means the platform will be able to work as a remote control for its owner’s appliances without having to use a specific application. “(For instance) you will be able to ask your refrigerator to show you your photos on your phone,” said Rhee.

From left: VIV Labs’ Vice President Adam Cheyer, VIV Labs’ CEO Dag Kittlaus and Samsung Electronics’ Vice President Rhee In-jong (Samsung Electronics) From left: VIV Labs’ Vice President Adam Cheyer, VIV Labs’ CEO Dag Kittlaus and Samsung Electronics’ Vice President Rhee In-jong (Samsung Electronics)

Such smart home technology is also being developed by other global tech firms including Google, Apple and Amazon, which are seeking to find new business opportunities beyond the saturated smartphone market.

Google has already unveiled a voice-activated speaker powered by its AI platform Google Assistant and Apple is developing smart home technologies with its Siri. Amazon has also launched Echo, a hands-free speaker that users can control with their voice through its voice service Alexa.

Samsung and VIV Labs agreed that AI technology will ultimately become a common sight like the internet.

“The more developers rise in the technology industry, the more users will be interacting with the AI platform,” said Adam Cheyer, VIV Labs’ vice president.

“Our kids will ask us ‘Dad, how did you grow up without the internet? And in the future, next generations will ask ‘How did you live without the AI platform?’” he added. 

By Shin Ji-hye (