Apple Siri is out on the market for long and has major updates with iOS 10, MacOS Sierra and Apple TV. Samsung Galaxy S8 will be available in the market on March 29th. The new phone will also come with Bixby, the rival of Siri. Bixby digital virtual assistant (DVA) will be limited to just English and Korean at launch but will add more languages in future.
Instead of people talking the way machines/computers understand us, now the trend with DVA is that machines should adapt to us. Siri is trying to do that for a long time, and you have seen that with Google Now, Microsoft Cortana and Amazon Alexa. Now it’s Samsung Bixby. The freelance websites, like this one, is always providing you the latest tech info.
You will see that Siri is adding different features related to each task. Integration with third party apps does not mean you can do everything in that app with Siri. Bixby claims that for the Bixby-enabled apps, the virtual assistant will support almost every task the app is performing. If this works well, it will be a great help for users as they don’t have to know what works and what doesn’t.
Context sensitive assistance
You may use any app at any time, and the context is important. It is not easy to make the DVA understand what the current context is. All IT giants have to perform considerable research and experiments to make the machine understand the context. You are going to carry out your work while asking the DVA to perform another. You can use touch or voice commands to provide instructions. In Siri, you have to tell the command along with context, but Bixby claims that the tool will understand the context and you don’t have to start the entire task from scratch.
When you are expecting the machine to understand human language, you may not use the same words each time. Teaching these techniques to DVA is a difficult job. Siri normally accepts same commands, and Bixby claims that it will understand the similar or incomplete commands also. It will ask for more inputs from the user to complete the assigned task. The smarter, in this case, means more natural. If you can talk to any DVA, the way you will talk to your real personal assistant, users are going to appreciate it.
If the voice commands can’t be understood well, users will go back to the text and touch commands. Apple Siri worked on it hard and upgraded Siri in iOS10 with major features where you can have a question answer session with Siri. Cortana also does the same thing to a certain extent. Samsung wants to beat the competition and try to remove the confusion of whether to give a voice command or use a touch interface. Bixby is believed to rule the market of current virtual assistants with these features.
Siri works with the same Home button, but Bixby button will be an additional button on the side of Galaxy S8. Samsung claims to have removed the confusion with activating voice interface for the device. It means, your job can get simplified ten times. You are not going to unlock the phone with one hand while driving car, then go to a particular app, open it and then give voice commands, the way you have to do it in Siri. For Bixby, you can only press the voice interface button and start giving commands. Your faithful virtual assistant will understand the commands and interact with the right app on your smartphone.
Advanced Artificial Intelligence
Siri is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Apple is also trying to integrate Virtual Reality (VR) into their devices. Bixby has used advanced AI and is an ambitious project, which will develop over time to improve the man and machine communication.
Availability of Digital Assistant
With Samsung only prevalent in the Mobile devices market, Bixby is going to be available on the latest smartphone right now and may get to all future phones. For Siri, the major advantage is integrated user experience for Apple devices. With Siri available on macOS Sierra, the Apple savvy users have an advantage over here to continue using the same DVA across different digital devices. Siri has enhanced a major OS, and Bixby is a new feature on a particular device.
SDK for Bixby
Samsung has announced that eventually, they will release a tool for freelance web developers to modify existing apps to make them Bixby compliant. Do you guys see a major opportunity here for new development? Samsung is into multiple devices and not just information devices like Apple. Apple has already implemented Siri on their devices, and they are much ahead of the game, but Bixby will also come in the race very fast. Samsung will add it to their Smart TV and Air conditioner also.
IoT through Bixby?
Each device having an internet connectivity can be connected to Bixby as the implementation will be cloud based. You can imagine that this is going towards Internet of Things (IoT) and you can provide voice commands to the devices over internet changing the way the digital systems and home appliances are working. Samsung must have invested a lot in this technology, and you will see them using it in all possible ways going forward. The mobile ecosystem is also changing every day and expect new features to Bixby and Siri shortly. As a user, you should be happy about the feature war between the IT giants but remember, the new features are not available free! An opportunity for all of you is doing freelance work.
Siri and Bixby are both great tools. The Artificial Intelligence is taking over the world of mobiles and will enter into the IoT space. Apple is trying to provide an integrated user experience across all their devices and Samsung is all set to beat the competition of DVA with Bixby. Let us see how the Bixby launch goes and how much you like it.