Samsung developing Duplex-like ‘AI Assistant’

At the recent Google I/O 2018 developer event the Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai demonstrated Duplex in action by playing recordings of actual calls placed by the Assistant.

Duplex both asked and answered questions, as you would in a normal conversation, and completed the task without giving away its non-human status.

Not to be outdone by Google, Samsung said it plans to showcase a bot that sounds just like a human as early as next year.

“Developing an AI solution that can talk like a human is what we are getting at,” said Kim Hyun-Seok, the chief of Samsung Electronics‘ home appliance division, at a media conference for AI held in Seoul on May 17, forecasting that all of Samsung’s digital devices will ultimately come fitted with the personal assistants.

Computer systems that can conduct natural conversations with humans are called mixed initiatives, and Samsung has been running projects for such solutions for years, according to The Investor.

“(Our version) will not likely be designed to conduct specific tasks, but will serve as a personal assistant that handles general commands, much like a navigation system,” the CEO said

Samsung’s projects tend to be hardware-centric, but since establishing an AI research center under Samsung Research this year, the tech company has been beefing up the AI research workforce.

“We think we need at least 1,000 experts to achieve what we want in AI R&D, so the company plans to hire at least 1,000 AI researchers by the end of this year.”

Samsung also plans to launch an updated version of AI solution Bixby in the second half. The Bixby 2.0 will be first available on the Galaxy Note 9 smartphone, which is forecast to be showcased as early as August. The South Korean company is also planning to acquire AI companies.

“There are various sub-segments in the AI industry, and each segment needs experts with different skills. We are willing to take over both domestic and foreign companies that we think have competitive technologies.”

Additional information:

Google Duplex is an extension of the Google Assistant app that you may currently have on your device. It allows you to ask the Assistant to arrange a simple task that will involve calling, for example, a store, salon, or restaurant.

This could be for the purposes of making you an appointment or just finding out when the place will be open. Once the request is made, Duplex will make the call and then have a real, live conversation with whoever answers the phone.

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