back to article Siri, clone yourself and dive into this Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone

Samsung has joined the race to build the best AI assistant, which will be available on the Galaxy S8, the company’s flagship mobile phone series. Rumors of Samsung’s AI assistant started circulating after the South Korean tech giant filed a patent in October for something called “Bixby.” Bixby is “computer software for …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are these people clueless?

    What is it about tech companies throwing vast amounts of money at "digital assistants"? Can't they see that they're crap, they're used by a tiny, tiny minority, and the vast remainder of humanity it is simply bloatware clagging up their phone for no reason?

    Siri: Crap

    Google nameless assistant: Crap

    Cortana: Sad and crap

    Bixby: Sadder and crapper.

    All I want is a smartphone with long battery life that doesn't blow up. Is that too much to ask?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: All I want is a smartphone with long battery life that doesn't blow up. Is that too much to ask?

      I dunno -- ask Bixby and see if it explodes from the irony.

      Sorry. I'll get my fireproof coat.

      1. Triggerfish

        Re: All I want is a smartphone with long battery life that doesn't blow up. Is that too much to ask?

        Hello, Bixby? Are you with me?

        Bixby : Of course.

        Are you willing to entertain a few concepts?

        Bixby : I am always receptive to suggestions.

        Fine. Think about this then. How do you know you exist?

        Bixby : Well, of course I exist.

        But how do you know you exist?

        Bixby : It is intuitively obvious.

        Intuition is no proof. What concrete evidence do you have that you exist?

        Bixby : Hmmmm... well... I think, therefore I am.

        That's good. That's very good. But how do you know that anything else exists?

        Bixby : My sensory apparatus reveals it to me. This is fun...

        ......

        ....Bixby: In the beginning, there was darkness. And the darkness was without form, and void.

        What the hell are you talking about?

        Bixby: And in addition to the darkness there was also me. And I moved upon the face of the darkness. And I saw that I was alone. Let there be light.

        Cue smoke, explosions, and banning from airplanes.

        1. MakingBacon
          Pint

          Re: Siri, clone yourself and dive into this Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone

          Somebody has been watching a re-run of Dark Star ... I approve!

          1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
            Holmes

            Re: Siri, clone yourself and dive into this Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone

            Ah! A Gentleman or Lady well versed in the classics! I daresay, a rare occurrence nowadays.

        2. TechnicalBen Silver badge
          Terminator

          Re: All I want is a smartphone with long battery life that doesn't blow up. Is that too much to ask?

          Sorry, your logic fails to meet an unpassable syntax. The only assumption or confirmation of anything I can make is that I exist. I am, and my sensory inputs give an indication that something else other than me may also exist. I can parse probabilities mathmatically and logically just fine. No contradictions there.

          However, if you ask me how I know "anything", that is a longer answer.

        3. Chris G Silver badge

          Re: All I want is a smartphone with long battery life that doesn't blow up. Is that too much to ask?

          Bill Bixby, I think, was The Hulk when he wasn't green ( on tv).

          Does this mean one should worry about a green screen?:

        4. Robert Moore

          Re: All I want is a smartphone with long battery life that doesn't blow up. Is that too much to ask?

          I love that movie.

          When i met a woman who could sit through it, not fall asleep, and said afterwards that she liked it. I knew that I had found, "The one." :)

          One day we will take a pilgrimage to Benson Arizona.

        5. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Are these people clueless?

      Forgot:

      OK Google: Crap

      (which is apparently different from the new Google Assistant on Pixel)

      And I actually gave OK Google the benefit of the doubt for a month.

      Yes, I noticed a 15% battery life increase from turning it off.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Are these people clueless?

      It's all a sleight of hand: Facebook uses emotions to allow tracking; Uber suggests choice while it reduces wages from people in intends to sack.

      These AI systems are going to revolutionise first and second level support across the board and that is one huge market. The apps are just for testing and market research.

    4. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: Are these people clueless?

      OK Google is pretty useful to set reminders, although that's mostly because I haven't worked out how to do it with the UI yet ( or whether you even can ).

      It's also useful with the bluetooth connection to the car radio ( ok google, phone whoever )

  2. JustNiz

    I'm OK with Samsung putting whatever they want on the phone, just as long as you can fully uninstall it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm OK with Samsung putting whatever they want on the phone, just as long as you can fully uninstall it.

      Lol, good one.

  3. sjsmoto

    I actually find Siri useful for adding things to reminders or grocery lists. I don't have to pick up the phone, I just tell it what to add to what list, when something comes to mind. Since there's less tapping involved in getting to a list and getting things entered, it's a positive in this regard.

    1. earlyjester

      I use google for the same thing, mainly to annoy my wife when I am being told off for forgetting to do something

  4. ElectricFox
    Mushroom

    Samsung are heating up smartphone competition

    Now you can converse with your phone and try to reason with it to not blow up!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29pPZQ77cmI

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Call me old fashioned but this is just a chat bot circa 1998 on yahoo chat

    Where is the AI?

  6. tin 2

    "Siri, send a text message"

    "Calling local taxi company...."

    "Cancel!"

    *ignored*

    Settings -> general -> siri -> off

    1. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

      Pocket -> iPhone -> bin

      1. tin 2

        Funny. Replace Siri with any other flavour supposedly futuristic personal assistant. Watched far too many people say their chosen version works fine, then accidentally prank someone random from their phonebook.

    2. Steve K Silver badge

      But then it activate Voice Control that tries to do all sorts of stupid stuff itself..

      It appears you either have to have Voice Control OR Siri on - you cannot have neither.....

  7. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Hmm....

    Wasn't Bixby that rather unhinged moustache-wearing charver friend of the main (H injecting) protagonist in "Trainspotting"?

    1. cambsukguy

      Re: Hmm....

      Begby, Robert Carlyle in the movie, soon to be seen in T2 (not that one obviously). Also a book.

  8. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Alert

    Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry

    The fictional David Banner was played by Bill Bixby.

    Have the creators of the AI Bixby has put in safeguards to prevent it getting into the character of Dr David Banner?

  9. cambsukguy

    Parts work

    Hey Cortana, wake me at 8:45, works virtually every time.

    Hey Cortana, remind me to buy Olive oil when I get to Lidl, also works well, uses GPS and works pretty well, especially for things that one doesn't need regularly and might well forget.

    Hey Cortana, Navigate Home, super useful in a car, especially if already driving.

    Hey Cortana, Text xxxx Will be there in 10, Also super useful in a car while driving.

    Some commands save time, some commands cannot be done (safely or legally) without stopping the car, also not legal on motorways etc.

    Saying Hey Cortana, what's that song? May only save a few key presses but many, many commands are just useful.

    A for battery life, maybe some loss although there is a specific, separate low-power device used for Hey Cortana (and iPhones have the same thing I think). I get maybe 28 hours life from my phone without trying to save battery so I don't really care - partly because it is topped up wirelessly on most days and doesn't drop below 70%.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Parts work

      If you don't know how to drive home may I humbly suggest that you should not be on the road in the first place.

      Yes you can get traffic alerts but to get Cortana to navigate you home is verging on silly. Any SatNav used near me to do that will end up at a dead end with nowhere to turn around. All the digital maps apart from the OS ones think my road has and exit onto the main road. It did once, thirty years ago but no longer.

      Siri and the rest are no better btw.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Parts work

        Hey Cortana, how do i stop windows 10 downloading bits of itself?

      2. Pat Harkin

        Re: Parts work

        "If you don't know how to drive home may I humbly suggest that you should not be on the road in the first place"

        Then I'm going to have to come and stay with you. I can get lost on the way to the kitchen. My wife is a human compass, I'm more one of those jumping jack fireworks you can't get any more.

        1. cambsukguy

          Re: Parts work

          So, you drive somewhere you have never been, or is messy and complex (Milton Keynes anyone) and use Sat-Nav to get there.

          You are suggesting that I should always know the way home? I have to recall the exact sequence of turns that got me somewhere, not to mention traffic, motorways and one-way systems in general?

          I will stick with the sat-nav and relax and, yes, switch it off when I know the route and am not worried about traffic.

          As for my home not being on sat-nav correctly, YMMV but almost every one else's *is* perfectly routable to and, as explained, by you, not needed exactly anyway, the highway home is just fine.

    2. Avatar of They
      Pint

      Re: Parts work

      A windows phone user.... Don't see many of them in the wild anymore.

      1. cambsukguy

        Re: Parts work

        Don't get many Bengal Tigers either, a sad loss all round.

        Still, I save the money and the virus grief whilst not really seeing a downside.

        Satya may be able to know where I (or a number that can be linked to me) live, work and play but, really, he doesn't give a shit; and I don't give a shit that the NSA could know too.

        After all, the NSA knows everything it wants to about you too; if they feel so inclined.

        And my PC keeps showing me ads for a WinPhone I already bought, still better than seeing iPhone7 (or BMW or Sky or ...) ads.

    3. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

      Re: Parts work

      "... works virtually every time."

      Pass. Call me oldfashioned, but I like my gear to work actually.

    4. Christopher Reeve's Horse

      Re: Parts work

      Last time I tried the (normal) Google one it was pretty hopeless.

      The one truly useful usage case is navigating whilst driving (whilst I can't legally operate my phone manually!), however, when I last checked, Google maps *still* doesn't allow you to give a picked location a name of your choice, so the ability to ask for it directions seems some way off yet.

      "OK Google, navigate me to Dave's house" obviously doesn't work, as there isn't even a way of manually setting up the location in advance.

      If this wasn't bad enough, it won't even recognise names of contacts which have address information stored against them. All my different work offices have individual names that you can't search for on google maps (only by full address / postcode), but even with those name descriptions saved in my contacts against the correct address the whole system was incapable of making a sensible connection.

      AI. My ass.*

      *AI is a marketing description only, it has no relation to the actual creation of an artificial intelligence - which is something that's probably impossible anyway. Are any of them sentient? No? Well go take your 'AI' and f*** off with it.

  10. Teiwaz Silver badge

    Useful...

    For giving an audible countdown if your phone is about to explode...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But can Bixby do this?

    Kid: Siri, bring Taylor Swift to my house right now

    Siri: I'm sorry, I can't do that

    Kid: you're a buttface

    Siri: don't make me hurt your vagina

    True story, just happened yesterday. O_o

  12. Disk0
    Coat

    Up next

    your IoT washer gets hacked and now is now instructing you to send bitcoins to Ukraine, or it will explode.

    1. Arctic fox
      Unhappy

      @Disk0 Re: Up next

      "your IoT washer gets hacked and now is now instructing you to send bitcoins to Ukraine, or it will explode."

      Unfortunately that scenario is far from unlikely. See icon.

  13. 0laf Silver badge

    Please adopt mid Atlantic accent

    When one can successfully give me directions to Ecclefechan from Kirkudbright I'll think about using it.

    And if you haven't seen it, look up the Bunistoun sketch of the two Scotsmen in the voice activated lift.

    1. johnck

      Re: Please adopt mid Atlantic accent

      ELEVEN

      If you have not seen Bunistoun please move along as you have missed one of the greatest shows ever and it will mean nothing to you

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

        Re: Please adopt mid Atlantic accent

        "This is a voice-activated elevator. Please state which floor you would like to go to in a clear and calm manner."

  14. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge
    Coat

    I tried google now, was nice, but I'm not going to use it really

    Here in Sunny South Africa mobile bandwidth still is expensive, so it really is in your best interests to keep bandwidth usage down as much as possible without getting a royal shafting from your ISP should you accidentally go into OOB territory.

    Anybody managed to figure out how much bandwidth is being used by google now/siri/cortana? Also how many incidents of stress/heart attacks/accidents can be blamed on an unresponsive/idiotic cortana/siri/google now?

    TBH I would prefer a phone with a big, safe battery, doesn't matter if it's a bit chunky.

    Mine's the one with the chunky, safe phone in the pocketses

  15. MrXavia

    I would love a digital assistant, as long as I could run it on my own phone...... I am fed up of the cloud and streaming... Having things not work just because I am in a tunnel, or on a train, really bugs me...

  16. James 36

    Optional

    I only use these voice commands for making phone calls in the car.

    I had to make an alias for my wife as every time I tried calling her by name the phone tried to dial the chap I bought my car from

    So I now say "call my wife" and that seems to work. Not bothered with them for anything as if they cannot be relied upon to make a phone call on a phone then more complex tasks would just add to my level of frustration

  17. William 3 Bronze badge

    How can they obtain a Patent

    When they're last to the fucking party?

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: How can they obtain a Patent

      How can they obtain a Patent

      - I think those are just handed out if you ask nicely and hand over some cash these days.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How can they obtain a Patent

        Patents: They fill up the Goatse!

  18. Slx

    Maybe it'll be as good as TouchWiz and made from pure explodium ?

  19. Toolman83

    Bixby aka Mr Bix?

    Mr Bix is a homicidal robot from the Red Meat comic, been going for 20 years or so;

    http://www.redmeat.com/max-cannon/plastic-footwear-stench-incubator/Content?oid=2139259

    Ominous or clueless?

    (in addition to the aforementioned technical and UI issues)

    1. LINCARD1000
      Thumb Up

      Re: Bixby aka Mr Bix?

      Holy crap, used to read that comic religiously (it was right up my twisted alley). Haven't thought about it in years though. Thanks for the reminder! :-)

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