Sunday 6 November 2016 3:21 pm

Watch out Siri? Samsung’s next phone will have an AI assistant


I'm City A.M.'s award-winning technology editor, covering everything from happenings at Apple and Google to the latest London startup. In particular fintech, blockchain, artifical intelligence, driverless cars, virtual reality and the sharing economy get me out of bed in the morning. I'm always trying to illustrate stories with pictures of dogs. Sometimes with some success. I was named technology journalist of the year at the UK Tech Awards.

I'm City A.M.'s award-winning technology editor, covering everything from happenings at Apple and Google to the latest London startup. In particular fintech, blockchain, artifical intelligence, driverless cars, virtual reality and the sharing economy get me out of bed in the morning. I'm always trying to illustrate stories with pictures of dogs. Sometimes with some success. I was named technology journalist of the year at the UK Tech Awards.

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Samsung is following the lead of Apple and Google, revealing it will add a Siri-like personal assistant to its newest smartphone, the Galaxy S8.

It's the first time a Samsung phone will have the feature and follows the tech company's acquisition of San-Francisco artificial intelligence startup Viv Labs last month. The open platform will let others build services with the assistant.

The trend for virtual personal assistants is growing. Spearheaded by Apple's Siri, Google has now put one into its first smartphone, Pixel, while the Amazon Echo speaker brings the personal assistant to the home.

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“It will be significantly differentiated from the current services we see in the market now,” said Samsung Mobile chief technology officer and head of research and design Injong Rhee.

"Developers can attach and upload services to our agent. Even if Samsung doesn't do anything on its own, the more services that get attached the smarter this agent will get, learn more new services and provide them to end-users with ease."

The plans for its newest flagship phone, expected to launch next year, follow a disastrous couple of months for the brand.

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It was forced to scrap entirely the Galaxy Note 7 after a worldwide recall of the devices due to it catching fire. It faces further woes after a second high-profile recall was announced last week – this time with washing machines which have caused injuries due to loose part.

Samsung is the biggest smartphone maker in the world, but faces increasing pressure in a saturated market and amid stiff competition from rivals, and analysts believe innovation among smartphone makers has plateaued.

Here's what Samsung said about Viv when it snapped up the startup

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