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Samsung to offer digital assistant service in Galaxy S8

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy S7 is displayed as customers wait in line to buy Apple’s iPhone 7 at a mobile phone shop in Seoul, South Korea.

SEOUL, South Korea >> Samsung Electronics said Sunday it will offer an artificial intelligence assistant service in the upcoming flagship smartphone, as the South Korean firm seeks recovery from its global smartphone recalls.

The Galaxy S8 will let users order food or perform other tasks without going through a third-party application but by simply asking the phone’s virtual assistant, Samsung said in a statement. The artificial intelligence service will also be made available in Samsung’s other consumer electronics products, such as refrigerators.

The company declined to disclose what specific tasks the S8 phone will perform through its artificial intelligence feature.

Samsung is expected to unveil the next iteration for its flagship Galaxy device in spring as it has typically done in the past. Sales of the Galaxy S8 will be crucial for the recovery of Samsung’s mobile business, which saw its latest quarterly profit nearly wiped out by two global recalls of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone. Samsung estimates it has lost at least $5.3 billion as it discontinued the model, which overheated and caught fire.

The company said last month that it has not figured out what went wrong with the Note 7 phones.

The South Korean company joined the race to create the digital assistant service when it acquired in October Viv Labs Inc., a Silicon Valley startup launched by the same entrepreneurs who sold Siri to Apple. 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 the Silicon Valley firm 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 that the biggest difference between the existing digital assistant and the one they are jointly developing is that the latter will 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,” Samsung’s statement said.

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  • Samsung refrigerators are also subject to recall with multiple problems. This humongous conglomerate like GE and Matsushita(Panasonic)began to decline as the leader in its varied product line because it became too unwieldy to manage with a certain degree of efficiency. Too many inter-company infighting for budget-funding to further merchandise lead in the marketplace. The 2 recalls certainly impact the bottom-line for sure? At one time considered Samsung as an investment option but?????? Apple stock has been down lately, still at $30 plus to the good.

    • Yeah AAPL is down a bit this week like a lot of the market. Should start going back up after Tuesday. I’ve held Apple for the the long term. I bought my first shares in 1999 at $14. It then split x2. Years later when it split x7 it was a bonanza and over the years has been my top-performing equity. It’s still a very solid stock.

      Reynolds Aluminum (RAI) is another one to watch. It’s just taken off in the last few weeks before the election. I attribute this to the increased demand for aluminum foil head gear.

  • Samsung with its varied product lines indeed will encounter many more pitfalls as other conglomerates have done in the past. It’s part of the growing pains common for company this size will encounter. Their refrigerators are also subject to recall and will further impact their bottom-line. Like predecessors GE and Matsushita, once the kings of the heap, profit margins will be greatly impacted as part of the nature of the beast, impacting their stock values. Problem is created by the varied lines of products manufactured, all scrambling for research budget dollars with little to spare when product lines are many with intricate idiosyncrasies each product present.

  • My 2 comment are on temporary hold until someone can make a decision whether it is too critical or adverse to Samsung’s reputation??? Recalls of i-phones and refrigerators are only the tip off the iceberg. Chaebol working behind the scene to keep Samsung as the premier electronic giant??? When a giant conglomerate has 2 product lines subject to recall, the consumers’ interest must be protected no matter how adverse the truth hurts. All my comments stated that it was a conglomerate and it had problems within the subsidiaries scrambling for research dollars, thus impacting the consumer products.

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