Samsung’s Galaxy S8 is just weeks from going official, and we already know quite a bit about the device. Several leaks and rumors have pinpointed that the “Bixby” virtual assistant will debut on the S8, presumably as a rival to Google Assistant. Obviously, Google might not be thrilled about that development, but Samsung says that the competition could take AI “to the next level.”

Even though the so called “Bixby” will only be running on Samsung’s products, apparently including TVs and appliances alongside smartphones, the competition with Google may force each virtual assistant to try to outdo the other. We’re already seeing this on Samsung’s front, as “Bixby” is rumored to pack a handful of features which other AI options, such as Google Assistant, do not.

According to market rumors, Google may have even attempted to keep Samsung from installing “Bixby” on top of Android, similar to what it has done in the past with blocking the installation of certain apps and services.

Korean publication The Investor learned during a Samsung earnings call yesterday that the company wants to “collaborate as well as compete” with Google to push AI forward. Lee Kyeong-tae, a member of Samsung’s mobile division, gave the following statement: “Samsung and Google will have to continue to maintain their strategic partnership to nurture the AI and the market for the emerging technology.”

It will certainly be interesting to see how Samsung’s new AI assistant compares to Google’s and how the two will push each other forward through the year.

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Ben Schoon

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