back to article Samsung's Bixby totally isn't a Siri ripoff because look – it'll go in phones, TVs, fridges, air con...

Samsung has shed more light on its virtual personal assistant Bixby ahead of the March 29 launch of its flagship – and hopefully non-detonating – Galaxy S8 smartphone. The S8 will be a big user of Bixby. Gadget makers have been trying to shove chatbots down our throats for years. It started with Apple’s Siri in 2011, Amazon's …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not on any

    of my domestic appliances it fucking well wont!!!

    Its nothing more than spyware/ad-flinging disguised as a "useful" feature.

    "Hey, fridge, am i running out of milk"?

    "Yes and cheese, can i suggest this lovely cheshire from xxxxx supplier" You might also like this meat from xxxxx as well".

    No, not in my house, not now, not ever.

    1. noboard
      Joke

      Re: Not on any

      "Hey, fridge, am i running out of milk"?

      "Yes and cheese, can i suggest this lovely cheshire from xxxxx supplier" You might also like this meat from xxxxx as well".

      Ahh my silly little friend, your view of how joyus this awesome functionality will work is laughably far from the truth. This is what will happen.

      Scenario 1

      "Hey fridge, am I running out of milk"

      "Hello, people who bought milk also bought <insert random unrelated crap here>"

      Scenario 2:

      *fridge see's you've just bought some new milk*

      "Hello, may we suggest the following products... Milk"

      All perfectly wonderful and making our lives easier.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not on any

        Ah my silly little friend.

        Isnt that exactley what i said?

    2. Justice

      Re: Not on any

      "Hey, fridge, am i running out of milk"?

      "Yes, and I've downgraded you to skimmed because the digital scales told me you're getting a little porky"

      1. Triggerfish

        Re: Not on any

        Yes and you haven't paid your service charge update, so this door aint opening and it's dry cornflakes for you.

        1. Fatman Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Not on any

          <quote>Yes and I am unable to connect to the DRM server to validate your account, so this door aint opening and it's dry cornflakes for you.</quote>

          FTFY

          1. Triggerfish

            Re: Not on any

            +++out of cheese error. redo from start+++

  2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Firewall them all, god will know its own

    Firewall eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius

    Cloud? What cloud? Once again, how do you access cloud across a machine that has iptables -P FORWARD -j DROP?

    There is a reason why my media center has two NICs and the TV, BlueRay, etc are all on the second one. They are sometimes allowed an occasional excursion onto the wider net. But not a long one. So they can get new firmware or fetch something they need. Then, their access is turned back off. No ifs, no buts, no coconuts. And no Siris, Alexas, Bixbys or Google.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Firewall them all, god will know its own

      "So they can get new firmware"

      You have a TV whose manufacturer actually provides firmware updates?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Firewall them all, god will know its own

      Go with hardware firewall : a good stab at the microphone with a small screwdriver will make sure they'll never hear from you again.

  3. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

    Why the Apple reference? Siri wasn't the first voice search program, Siri was an Apple buy in, originally intended to be multi platform and also run on Android as a competitor to Google Voice Search.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      It would be remiss to write about the adoption of voice assistants on consumer devices without mentioning Apple. They have the ability to introduce technologies to a wider public because of their integrated structure, resources, and that their user base is less fragmented. They will rarely be the first to sell a technology, preferring to wait until it is more mature - and this only helps them promote it to the general non-techy public.

      Siri has its roots in a DARPA project for triaging information to battlefield commanders.

      1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        "It would be remiss to write about the adoption of voice assistants on consumer devices without mentioning Apple."

        - No, really, this isn't necessary. We just need to now what Bixby can do. Siri wasn't the first voice assistant, as an android / Samsung user I'm far more interested to now how it stacks up against other vice assistants for that platform.

        "They have the ability to introduce technologies to a wider public because of their integrated structure, resources, and that their user base is less fragmented."

        - Revisionist horsepuckey. When Siri was released, the iPhone4 was still available to buy,... but it came without Siri. What's that if it's not fragmentation? Or is it only fragmentation when Android doesn't support a feature?

        "They will rarely be the first to sell a technology, preferring to wait until it is more mature - and this only helps them promote it to the general non-techy public."

        -More revisionism, Apple Maps was an omnishambles, not a mature product. Siri struggled with accents, upon release. The first iPhone didn't do MMS, C&P, browsing without WiFi, GPS, flash on the camera, ... it lacked features found as standard on other handsets.

        "Siri has its roots in a DARPA project for triaging information to battlefield commanders."

        So I hear. It's provenance is more of a concern, than a feature.

    2. Mark Simon

      Why the Apple reference?

      Because Apple were the first to make the technology a popular fixture, and that probably counts for something.

      1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        "Because Apple were the first to make the technology a popular fixture, and that probably counts for something."

        I think we have different understandings of the word 'popular' when globally, android has ~80% market share. Apple counts for a fraction of the remainder.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Apple accounts for almost all of the remainder. You think Windows Phone and Blackberry are anything more than a rounding error at this point?

          Those Android stats are worldwide, in wealthier countries Apple has a much higher share - nearly half in the US, for instance. They also get features on every phone they sell, whereas Google won't get their assistant on the large majority of the Chinese models, that have googley bits stripped out. If Google's assistant ships on the S8 I'm sure Samsung will do their best to hide it and give Bixby top billing, which would further hurt its share. Android may have 80%+ of share of the market, but Google's assistant will never sniff anywhere close to 50%.

          1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

            "Apple accounts for almost all of the remainder. You think Windows Phone and Blackberry are anything more than a rounding error at this point?"

            -9/10 is still a fraction, just in case you are forgetting. 'Fraction' does not imply the smaller part.

            "They also get features on every phone they sell"

            -Oh FFS! Revisionist nonsense! When Siri was released, the iPhone4 was still on sale, and the iPhone4 did not get Siri.

      2. Ian Joyner

        Many say that Apple don't invent things but get them from elsewhere. That is true, but not in the intended pejorative sense people mean. For instance I work on the same floor in the building where WiFi was invented. But Steve Jobs demonstrated WiFi first at WWDC in 1999.

        Apple frequently takes these ideas and gives them life outside of being curiosity in labs. Even the GUI, which would have remained a curiosity at Xerox PARC. However, Apple and Jef Raskin were working on similar ideas at the time.

        Apple works out how people can use these things. Other companies just add the hardware, etc into their products but don't really work out how people will use them. Apple is a champion at putting technology together with usage patterns to make the technology really useful.

        Their products become successful and profitable. Other companies see the profit and want some of that so just copy - and usually in an inferior way because they are trying to get their product to market as quickly as possible. Samsung is such a company and some of their failures are testament to that. Before it was Microsoft with the inferior Windows. But MS is still doing that with its Surface products - tailor the OS to portable form factor? No, it's quicker just to force Windows into everything so they can compete now.

    3. Argh

      Samsung bought Viv which was made by the original creators of Siri, so I would expect Bixby to have a lot of that functionality. This also makes a comparison between Bixby and Siri more relevant.

  4. davidp231

    "This phone will self-destruct in 10 seconds".

    -Bixby

  5. djstardust Silver badge

    What a

    Load of pish, and a waste of R&D.

  6. Doogie Howser MD

    Bixby?

    But will it behave like Clive Bixby or Bill Bixby?

    1. gv

      Re: Bixby?

      Presumably at some point it will turn into Lou Ferrigno.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bixby?

        But then it would never hear you!!

        1. Unep Eurobats

          Re: Bixby?

          I'm guessing it's named after Bixby Bridge on California's Highway 1. Wikipedia comments on its graceful architecture and magnificent setting.

      2. Gazman

        Re: Bixby?

        No, no, no - it's Bill Bixby playing in 'The Magician'.

    2. DuncanL

      Re: Bixby?

      BIXBY SMASH!

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. 0laf Silver badge

    Adverts

    Kindly take your shiny shiny data mining and advertisement platforms (no, they're not "things that might interest me" they're fucking adverts) and shove them up your executive arses. Sideways.

  8. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Samsung's duplicitous duplication doubles datamining

    How are you supposed to choose between Google Now and Bixby? Do they fight to the death and the winner carries out your request?

    1. Mark York 3 Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: Samsung's duplicitous duplication doubles datamining

      With the advance of AI into humanlike sentience, it's more likely the loser gets to do the task, while the victor oversee's operations.

  9. Detective Emil
    Meh

    A hard row to hoe

    It's not clear to me why developers would use Samsung's API, toaster-fridge compatibility or no, given that Samsung's only got about 25% of the Android smartphone market. By programming for Google Assistant, a developer can address 100% (well, modulo quite a few smartphones that use Android but not Google's goodies). That's not to say that (unlike constrained Siri functionality on iOS) either API is available yet: Samsung says "eventually", and Google invites you to sign up to a mail list for announcements. Who knows who will be first out of the gate? But I'd back Google to win over Samsung, whatever.

    1. Mage Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: By programming for Google Assistant

      Well, I think it's immoral to support ANY of Alexa, Siri, Cortana, Bixby, Google Now/Go etc. They are poor voice recognition to facilitate data mining.

  10. Bob Vistakin
    Thumb Up

    Yup, that's all the relevant ones listed

    "It started with Apple’s Siri in 2011, Amazon's Alexa came out in 2014, Google followed suit with Assistant when it released its Pixel smartphone last year, and Samsung is now playing catch-up with Bixby."

  11. lee harvey osmond

    Spare us all from a toaster that talks...

    Toaster: Howdy doodly do. How's it going? I'm Talkie, Talkie Toaster, your chirpy breakfast companion. Talkie's the name, toasting's the game. Anyone like any toast?

    Lister: Look, I don't want any toast, and he doesn't want any toast. In fact, no one around here wants any toast. Not now, not ever. No toast.

    Toaster: How 'bout a muffin?

    Lister: Or muffins. Or muffins. We don't like muffins around here. We want no muffins, no toast, no teacakes, no buns, baps, baguettes or bagels, no croissants, no crumpets, no pancakes, no potato cakes and no hot-cross buns and definitely no smegging flapjacks.

    Toaster: Aah, so you're a waffle man.

    1. davidp231

      Re: Spare us all from a toaster that talks...

      Lister: "Crap."

      Toilet: "Hello, how can I help?"

      Lister: "I wasn't talking to you"

      Toilet: "Sorry, I wasn't paying attention."

  12. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Wonderful.

    Hard to see how this could be another boil on the backside of The Internet of Tat.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    I don't trust Samsung...

    ...at all.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: I don't trust Samsung...

      That's nice to hear, but then who can you really trust?

  14. handleoclast Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    It was often said of ATLAS (Abbreviated Test Language for All Systems, a US military invention for testing avionic systems) that its most useful command is "LEAVE ATLAS" to permit a jump to something written in a more usable and useful language.

    I expect the most longed-for command on Bixby will be "Bixby, FUCK OFF FOREVER!" Sadly, I doubt it will be implemented. So you'll have to go through many fiddly, non-obvious menus to get rid of it most of the time, although it will insist on sneaking back in some circumstances (if the google voice thingy on my android phone is anything to go by).

  15. Outer mongolian custard monster from outer space (honest)

    Not more cloud processing nonsense by someone who's already created exploitable tv's and worse.

    Roll on the days of CMU Sphinx being usable as a home only processing node. We *really* need to get away with sending all our data offsite for processing if we're to retain any semblance of privacy. At the moment its a bit of a bear to get running right, but its being worked on.

    As a aside we were woke last night by my wife's android phone declaring that it didnt understand something, it seems a update had enabled ok google in chrome without asking. I'm insisting that she leaves it downstairs since I can't persuade her not to throw the damn thing in a bucket of water as a more preferred option.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019