Most Android devices use the Google Assistant for voice commands, which - even if it doesn't have a name like Alexa or Siri - is perfectly suited to getting the job done. Samsung one of the few manufacturers that bucks that trend, but has suggested that it could be open to working with the Google technology to improve its own offering.
Samsung's voice assistant is called Bixby, and the company installs it in all of its high-end devices. It's so set on making sure that its customers use Bixby, in fact, that phones like the Note 9 have a dedicated Bixby button - which can't be remapped, only disabled to leave you with a useless clicker.
Small wonder, then, that Samsung really doesn't want to switch to using the Google Assistant - but it is open to collaboration.
"Samsung is developing its own voice assistant, Bixby, but we could consider various [forms] of collaboration with Google in the field," said Samsung's president and CEO of consumer electronics, Kim Hyun-Suk, at IFA 2018.
Bixby could integrate with Google services to show relevant results, said Kim. "For example, we would call up Bixby, but it could lead us to one of Google's services, like Google Maps."
That would be a smart implementation, rather than Samsung putting in all of the work to build its own copycat services. Apple, which launched its own maps in 2012, is still trying to fix them to this day.
Kim added that Samsung is confident that it can use its size as a bargaining chip in any negotiations with Google:
"Samsung is a company that sells around 500 million units of devices worldwide every year, and we can use this as our bargaining power to negotiate the level of cooperation with AI leaders like Google."
Kim was speaking in response to a question about Samsung adopting Google Assistant for its smart home appliances, as other manufacturers have done.
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