Samsung to offer service with a virtual assistant in Galaxy S8
Samsung is to offer artificial intelligence assistant service in its upcoming flagship smartphone.
The South Korean tech giant said the Galaxy S8 would let users order food or perform other tasks by simply asking the phone's virtual assistant, without going through a third-party application.
Samsung joined the race to create the digital assistant service when it acquired in October Viv Labs, a Silicon Valley start-up launched by the same entrepreneurs who sold Siri to Apple.
The Galaxy S8 is expected to make its debut in the spring.
Sales of the S8 will be crucial for the recovery of Samsung's mobile business, which saw its profit nearly wiped out by two global recalls of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone.
The artificial intelligence service will also be made available in Samsung's other consumer electronics products, such as fridges.
The company would not say what specific tasks the S8 phone would perform through its artificial intelligence feature.
Samsung estimates it has lost at least £4.3 billion as it discontinued the Note 7 model, which overheated and caught fire. The company said last month that it had not determined what went wrong with the phones.
Past and current Samsung phones offer a voice assistant service called "S Voice" developed internally, but the feature did not gain much traction.
Samsung's acquisition of Viv Labs was seen as its taking another step to seek independence from Google, which offers its brand of virtual assistant service in Android-powered devices.
Executives at Samsung and Viv Labs said the biggest difference between the existing digital assistant and the one they were jointly developing was that the latter would be an "open AI platform", meaning that third-party developers will be able to offer their services through Samsung's AI platform.
"Our Galaxy smartphones don't provide services that enable consumers to order pizza or coffee, but does provide third party applications. But the new AI platform will enable consumers to do things that they would usually do through a separate third party application," a Samsung statement said.