Samsung is behind in its plans to release an English version of its virtual assistant Bixby.
The tech titan is struggling with Bixby’s ability to understand the English language, according to The Korea Herald. But that is not Samsung’s only problem. It also has a major data issue hindering Bixby’s deep learning technology.
“Developing Bixby in other languages is taking more time than we expected mainly because of the lack of the accumulation of big data,” a Samsung spokesperson told the publication.
Although Bixby was to be available to English speakers come May and to Chinese speakers in June, the digital assistant is still available only in Korean.
Samsung launched a limited release of Bixby’s voice preview in June but, as The Verge surmises, the lack of big data could be due to too few beta testers signing up leading to not enough diversity in voice samples.
Another issue, according to the Korea Herald, is the language and geographical barriers between the American and Korean Samsung engineers.
Samsung Software and Services executive vice-president and head of research and development Injong Rhee has said Bixby will offer users “a deeper experience” than voice assistant competitors like Siri and Cortana because it will be able to support practically every task an application is capable of performing via touch commands.
Users, Rhee said, will be able to utilize Bixby at any time and it will comprehend the current context and state of the app being used, permitting users to seamlessly carry out their work-in-progress. Bixby will also have the ability to understand and comply with incomplete commands.
“Bixby will be our first step on a journey to completely open up new ways of interacting with your phone,” Rhee said in a blog post. “Starting with our Smartphones, Bixby will be gradually applied to all our appliances. In the future you would be able to control your air conditioner or TV through Bixby. Since Bixby will be implemented in the cloud, as long as a device has an Internet connection and simple circuitry to receive voice inputs, it will be able to connect with Bixby. As the Bixby ecosystem grows, we believe Bixby will evolve from a Smartphone interface to an interface for your life.”