While the initial rollout of its Samsung virtual assistant left many users elated, the full launch of Bixby Voice has rekindled consumer interest.

The company promises that its artificial intelligence (AI) assistant differs from others due to context awareness and the ability to learn. But is this just a marketing hoax?

We’ll take a look at five amazing things Bixby Voice can do, as well as one thing that doesn’t quite fit.

1. Understand the context

A nice feature of Bixby Voice is the assistant’s contextual awareness. This means that the AI ​​can interpret what you link to depending on which application you have open.

This way, if you have a Samsung browser open, you can just say «Share this with Bob» and the AI ​​will know that you are linking to the current web page. It will then copy the link and let you choose which app to share it through, if you haven’t already specified it.

Meanwhile, if you open a photo in your gallery using the «Share this on Twitter» command, Bixby Voice will know that you’re linking to the picture.

When you consider that many AI assistants didn’t use this context, it’s amazing and unique. Bixby Voice also switches from main mode to context mode depending on the app you’re in.

So, if you are on the home screen and say «Show me my last message», Bixby will show you the latest message in your default messaging app. However, if you use the exact same command in Whatsapp, the assistant downloads your latest WhatsApp message.

“Bixby is context-aware and multi-modal,” said Rui Broui, Head of Samsung Mobile Devices South Africa.

He explains this feature as the reason the assistant can understand commands that other AI assistants cannot. Add to that the ability of AI to learn, and you have a recipe for a very user-friendly assistant that understands people, Brui says.

Even Google is moving towards more contextual awareness in the latest update

This understanding is also part of the second amazing thing that Bixby can do.

2. Allow highly specific commands

Bixby Voice due to its compatibility with Samsung apps. and many third-party applications capable of executing very detailed, application-specific commands.

Nowhere is this more obvious than when accessing «Voice Apps & Services» through Bixby and clicking on one of the apps listed.

The camera app contains some of the most detailed commands, including «Set the timer for the rear camera to two seconds and turn on [снимок 3] [функция]». With Bixby Voice, you can also switch between back and front. camera, select the filter you want to use and adjust settings such as HDR and shutter speed.

Also, these commands are not limited to just the app you currently have open. You can ask Bixby to take a selfie and send it to a contact person via Whatsapp, making several of the app’s functions a breeze.

Android Bixby commands

But the assistant is not infallible when it comes to these commands. Sometimes the Bixby app freezes and freezes silently simply by not following your command. If you have combined too many commands in one sentence, it also sometimes misinterprets and skips parts of the instructions.

For example, while in the camera app, you can tell Bixby to switch to the front camera, take a selfie, and send it. Try adding a change in color mode, however, and Bixby tends to ignore it.

Luckily, this is where the third function comes in handy.

3. Learn from your mistakes

Even though Bixby Voice has improved its beta version, it still has some bugs, including often misreading pronunciation or misunderstanding commands.

But fearless AI can really learn from its mistakes.

For most commands, you can provide feedback on whether Bixby interpreted it correctly. You can also access your history in the My Bixby menu to view past commands and fix any mistakes the AI ​​has made. Bixby is literally asking you to teach it.

teach me android bixby

In fact, based on how many interactions you’ve had and what you’ve taught the assistant, Bixby actually «elevates».

bixby android level up

“The important thing is that it is context sensitive, and when you use it, it will learn and improve,” Broui says. The AI ​​also needs to get used to your accent, your personal way of speaking, and your favorite commands.

4. Set up commands

This is my favorite Bixby Voice feature: the ability to create custom or quick commands.

In addition to the many commands already included with Bixby, users can create their own unique commands. This is great for efficiency, but also gives you the opportunity to have fun with an assistant.

Android Bixby shortcuts

Want a quick command to make Bixby upload photos of your favorite feline? You can do this by creating a «Take me to my happy place» voice prompt.

I currently have Bixby answering «What do you believe?» by downloading and playing the game » I believe in love titled «Dark».

But aside from these tricks, it’s actually a very useful feature that allows you to create quick hints for very detailed functions.

As easy as Wake Up, you can set up a command to have Bixby tell you the weather, show you your calendar, and even play morning music.

5. Work with your smart home

Long before Samsung got into the AI ​​Assistant game, it was firmly established in the smart home industry. In recent years, the company has acquired SmartThings, launched smart devices, and made it relatively easy to integrate third-party devices.

With this ready-to-use ecosystem, Samsung is making Bixby the centerpiece of its smart home products. The company has an advantage because many of its smart devices have been launched in emerging markets where products like Google Home and Amazon Echo are not available.

Android Bixby Samsung Connect

Meanwhile, the SmartThings Center also allows consumers to make their «stupid» devices smart. But how does Bixby Voice fit into the picture?

Bixby Voice works with Samsung Connect, a central application used to control users’ smart homes. Through Connect, users will be able to use voice commands to control their smart devices.

Android Bixby Samsung Connect

If your devices are compatible with Samsung Connect, you can use Bixby Voice to control them. And with over 100 devices compatible with the app, it creates a promising ecosystem base.

Brui confirmed that Bixby will play a central role in advancing Samsung’s smart home ecosystem, so you can expect the assistant to be more frequent.

But what can’t Bixby’s voice do?

There is one thing that keeps users from using Bixby Voice: voice recognition. The virtual assistant’s voice capabilities were officially launched in over 200 countries at the end of August. But he only understands one English accent: American English.

That’s not to say that if you deviate from a typical American accent, Bixby won’t understand you at all, but AI not recognizing words is becoming quite common. This is especially noticeable when it comes to differences in the pronunciation of the vowel «a» between English and American speakers. Many English speakers use a long vowel in words like «last», «cast», «can’t», etc. But the American pronunciation of the vowel is much shorter.

When I try to use these words with Bixby Voice, the AI ​​tries to understand what I’m saying. Every time I say «last», Bixby thinks I said «lost». When I say «cast», Bixby hears «cost».

But it’s not just my weird South African accent that Bixby misunderstood. There are also strange interpretations of the helper’s words that seem to come out of nowhere. Some examples include «Encourage me» interpreted as «Jimmy up» and «Share me». He even sometimes interprets completely different consonants from what was said. «Last» was interpreted by the assistant as «majority». «Do a beatbox» became «Der beatbox» in one moment.

Android Bixby distorts hearing

This issue is likely to improve over time as Bixby learns and becomes more accustomed to other accents. However, with a high rate of interpretation errors for non-English speakers, you can’t blame some users for being annoyed.

You can teach Bixby to interpret misinterpreted words in different ways, but the AI ​​doesn’t always learn right away.

Bixby’s voice was worth the wait?

While it still has some issues, Bixby Voice has definitely made Samsung’s virtual assistant a more attractive and useful product. Knowing the context and being able to give Bixby very specific commands is a useful feature that makes him stand out.

However, problems with voice recognition can be tiring for some users and result in them simply turning off the voice feature. Bixby in general also needs some improvements to become more competitive.

Samsung has created an excellent base to expand the capabilities of the AI ​​assistant, and the future of its integration into the company’s smart device ecosystem is promising. But given that the assistant still has some very visible issues to work out, it might be a while before he sees the rampant praise.

Bixby has much more to offer than just Bixby Voice. Learn how to use other features like Bixby Home

Image Credit: Syda_Productions / Depositphotos

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