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Samsung just confirmed one of the Galaxy S8’s most exciting new features

Published Nov 7th, 2016 7:35AM EST
Galaxy S8 Specs
Image: Samsung

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Despite Samsung’s reliance on Android and Google’s suite of service apps, the South Korean tech giant has long tried to wrestle away control of the user experience from the search giant. That said, the forthcoming Galaxy S8 will mark the company’s boldest effort yet to establish a unique identity for itself that partially exists outside of the strict confines of the Android universe.

According to a new report from Reuters, Samsung’s Galaxy S8 will ship with its own intelligent AI service based on technology the company picked up when it acquired Viv just about a month ago. Developed by Siri co-creator Dag Kittlaus and a handful of former Apple engineers, Viv touts itself as a next-generation AI assistant that can blow rival services from the likes of Apple, Google and Amazon out of the water.

DON’T MISS: Apple has a secret research team devoted to making Siri’s voice sound more human-like

Samsung hasn’t yet revealed too many details surrounding its plans for the S8, but the company did indicate that its AI platform will be able to interface with third-party apps, similar to what the Amazon Echo has long provided and what Siri has been capable of since the launch of iOS 10.

“Developers can attach and upload services to our agent,” Samsung Executive Vice President Rhee Injong said in a statement obtained by Reuters. “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.”

Corporate lingo aside, it will extremely interesting to see how Samsung’s first foray into the world of intelligent AI assistants stacks up against more established competitors. Viv may not be a household name, but the company’s technology is incredibly intriguing. During demos, Kittlaus showed off how Viv is capable of answering complex queries and layered questions with ease.

For example, if a user asks, “Will it be warmer than 70 degrees near the Golden gate bridge after 5 PM the day after tomorrow?” or “Find me a flight to Dallas with a seat that Shaq could fit in”, Viv can successfully parse the question to deliver an answer.

As impressive as that is, what makes Viv truly stand out from the pack is its ability to learn how to process queries that it wasn’t originally programmed to understand via a technology Viv calls “dynamic program generation.”

“The more you ask of Viv, the more it will get to know you,” Kittlaus said during a product demonstration a few months ago. “Siri was chapter one, and now it’s almost like a new Internet age is coming. Viv will be a giant brain in the sky.”

While Samsung’s acquisition of Viv loudly signaled the company’s intention to release its own AI powered hardware, it’s interesting that Samsung is wasting absolutely no time integrating it into its software and getting it out into the hands of users.

For those unfamiliar with Viv, the following demo of Viv from May of this year provides an exciting overview of the type of technology Samsung’s Galaxy S8 might ship with. Notably, it was previously reported that both Google and Facebook made offers to acquire Viv before the deal with Samsung ultimately went through.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.