Samsung’s voice-based assistant Bixby, launched in the US last month for Galaxy S8 users after delays due to language problems, is now available in 200 countries and territories, the company announced.
In addition to South Korea and the US, the assistant is now available in countries including the UK, Australia, Canada and South Africa.
At the moment Bixby only supports US English and Korean. In its statement, Samsung pointed out not all accents, dialects and expressions will be recognised.
“Natural language understanding allows Bixby to continuously improve its ability to interpret regional dialects. But since Bixby learns more frequently used command terms more quickly, it will take more time for Bixby to fully understand regional dialects that are used less frequently,” the company said.
Bixby features Quick Commands, which allow users to create a custom voice command to use in place of a sequence of one or more commands.
The assistant also understands cross-application commands and features deep learning technology which can improve over time to recognise personal preferences and ways of speaking.
When an app becomes Bixby-enabled, the platform will support almost every task the application is capable of performing using voice, touch or text, Samsung said.
Injong Rhee, EVP and head of R&D, software and services at Samsung Electronics’ mobile communications business, said: “The expansion of Bixby’s voice capabilities is an initial step in the continued rollout of Bixby functionality. In the future, Bixby will have the learning power to offer more intelligent and personalised interactions and seamless connections across more devices.”
Samsung plans to continue expanding Bixby’s voice capabilities to additional countries, languages, devices, features and third-party applications.
The company first unveiled Bixby in March. While deployment in its home market had gone ahead at the time, the English version of Bixby faced a delay in launching, reportedly because the service was struggling to comprehend the language.
Samsung initially targeted availability in late May, which was then pushed back to the end of June, before Bixby finally launched in the US in July.
The feature positions Samsung firmly in the ever-competitive artificial intelligence-based voice assistant market, where Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana are currently competing.