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Samsung's Rumored Next Bet Faces An Amazon-Sized Challenge

TIME - Tech

Samsung's technological reach is formidable, shipping more phones than any other manufacturer. The company boasts nearly 23% of the global smartphone market, and its Gear VR headset, available since late 2015, is already among the most popular virtual reality devices going. But when it comes to voice-activated speakers, a medium that some believe is on the cusp of becoming the next major computing platform, there's reason to question whether Samsung has the wherewithal to keep up. The South Korean technology giant may be developing a new Amazon Echo-like smart speaker powered by its Bixby virtual assistant, reports the Wall Street Journal. But it's arrival would likely come long after category pioneers like Amazon, Google and Apple have either released or announced plans to launch voice-activated gadgets of their own.


Huawei could rescue Amazon's Alexa from the smart home

#artificialintelligence

Analysis Huawei's upcoming launch of a smartphone incorporating Amazon's Alexa virtual assistant will mark a new phase in one of the most important battles for the modern internet experience. Voice-activated assistants - which use powerful AI engines to deliver detailed, context-aware and personalized answers to users' questions – are the way in which web giants hope to place themselves at the heart of a user's whole range of activities, whether they are in their smart home, connected car, at work or on the phone. Apple Siri kicked off the race, though the company seems to have lost its early momentum in voice interfaces – rapidly taking over from touch/text for many uses. Google Now and Microsoft Cortana added new levels of AI to the digital assistant category, but then Amazon launched its Fire Phone, whose defining technology was the retailer's own AI-driven assistant, Alexa. However, the Fire Phone flopped, and it seemed Alexa might have died with it, until the technology reappeared in Amazon's Echo home hub, which has unexpectedly seized the initiative back from its rivals, leaving Apple and Google to announce hasty moves into the home hub market last year.


Siri gets another shot at getting it right

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Consumers are still mixed about Siri, but according to an exclusive new poll for USA TODAY, they like her more than other personal assistants. LOS ANGELES -- "Siri, will you finally catch up to Amazon and Google this year? We'd like to believe she might say, "Yes...Jefferson. I'll have more accurate, chattier responses, and good news -- I'll be able to understand you much better, too." Apple, which introduced the world to voice-activated computing in 2011 with the release of Siri, is feeling the heat.


Google takes on rivals with Pixel phone, new hardware

#artificialintelligence

Google took on rivals Apple, Samsung and Amazon in a new push into hardware Tuesday, launching premium-priced Pixel smartphones and a slew of other devices showcasing artificial intelligence prowess. The unveiling of Google's in-house designed phone came as part of an expanded hardware move by the US company, which also revealed details about its new "home assistant" virtual reality headset and Wi-Fi router system. The San Francisco event marked a shift in strategy for Google, which is undertaking a major drive to make Google Assistant artificial intelligence a futuristic force spanning all kinds of internet-linked devices. "We are evolving from a mobile-first world to an AI-first world," Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said. "Our goal is to build a personal Google for each and every user."


Google takes on rivals with Pixel phone, new hardware

#artificialintelligence

San Francisco (AFP) - Google took on rivals Apple, Samsung and Amazon in a new push into hardware, launching premium-priced Pixel smartphones and a slew of other devices showcasing artificial intelligence prowess. The unveiling of Google's in-house designed phone came as part of an expanded hardware move by the US company, which also revealed details about its new "home assistant" virtual reality headset and Wi-Fi router system. The San Francisco event marked a shift in strategy for Google, which is undertaking a major drive to make Google Assistant artificial intelligence a futuristic force spanning all kinds of internet-linked devices. "We are evolving from a mobile-first world to an AI-first world," Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said. "Our goal is to build a personal Google for each and every user."