Samsung recently appointed a new executive for the development of its voice assistant Bixby in a move to enhance the performance of the assistant which is facing a lackluster response from the market.
The Korean tech giant confirmed Thursday Samsung Research America’s vice chief Chung Eui-suk is now the head of service intelligence group in its headquarters in Korea. The service intelligence group is in charge of developing Bixby and other artificial intelligence services.
Before joining the group, Chung led a mobile platform and solution lab at Samsung Research America located in Silicon Valley from 2015. He had previously worked for Ericsson and Samsung’s smartphone research center.
His appointment is seen by some industry watchers as a virtual replacement of the head of Bixby development. Rhee In-jong, Samsung mobile’s chief technology officer, who had spearheaded Bixby both in Korean and English versions, will reportedly be in charge of smartphone development excluding Bixby.
Samsung, however, denied the industry speculation, saying, “Chung’s new move cannot be seen as Rhee’s replacement as Rhee will continue to remain as the head of development 1 division that oversees the service intelligence group.”
Bixby, which was unveiled four months ago, has received an unenthusiastic response from users, with critics calling it a beta product rather than a polished release, with the system often misunderstanding commands. The release of Bixby in English was delayed around two months due to some data and technical challenges.
Samsung’s mobile business chief Koh Dong-jin admitted Bixby’s room for improvement, saying, “We will supplement the incomplete parts of Bixby 1.0 at Bixby 2.0,” at a local media conference for launching Galaxy Note 8.
“Outside developers will participate in the development of Bixby 2.0 although they could not for Bixby 1.0 due to time shortage,” he added.
Samsung Electronics is slated to unveil the upgraded version of Bixby at Samsung’s annual Developer Conference in San Francisco on Oct. 18. The application of Bixby 2.0 is expected to expand into third party services and products beyond smartphones.
By Shin Ji-hye (email@example.com