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Samsung voice-assistant Bixby to debut with new Galaxy S8 smartphone

Samsung said Bixby will focus on letting people control mobile apps with spoken directives

AFP | PTI  |  San Francisco 

A man walks behind a logo of Samsung Electronics at the company's headquarters in Seoul. Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

announced on Monday that a voice-powered digital assistant named "Bixby" will debut with a flagship set to be unveiled by the South Korean consumer electronics giant.

enters a crowded field of digital assistants powered by that includes Apple's Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon's

said will focus on letting people control mobile apps with spoken directives.

"will be our first step on a journey to completely open up new ways of interacting with your phone," Electronics head of research and development said in a release.

"will be a new intelligent interface on our devices."

A expected to be unveiled next week will have a set of pre-installed applications that will work with Bixby, according to

late last year bought Viv, an startup with co-founders who were part of the team that built virtual assistant Siri, which Apple bought some seven years ago.

will differ from digital aides already on the market in ways that include controlling nearly all tasks in applications instead of limited sets, and being flexible when it comes to understanding what users are saying, according to

"We do have a bold vision of revolutionizing the human-to-machine interface, but that vision won't be realised overnight," Rhee said.

Amazon, Apple, Samsung, Google and Microsoft are all vying to develop the most sophisticated connected assistant -- working to give software the ability to understand what people say and even anticipate desires or needs.

virtual assistant was a star at the Consumer Electronics Show gadget gala early this year in Las Vegas but faces fierce competition.

Chinese giant also used the show to showcase virtual assistant "Little Fish" that it was preparing for a debut in China.

Microsoft recently bought Maluuba, a Montreal startup focused on making machines able to think the way people do.

First Published: Tue, March 21 2017. 05:01 IST