Samsung’s Bixby assistant is delayed again because English is hard


Image: lili sams/mashable

Galaxy S8 owners are in for a bit longer of a wait before they’ll be able to use one of the smartphone’s most important features.

Samsung’s highly anticipated digital assistant is delayed — again — according to a new report in The Wall Street Journal.  The reason for the delay: English is just too complicated.

The voice-enabled assistant, which has been available in Korea since the smartphone shipped, is “struggling to comprehend English syntax and grammar,” according to the report.

“Bixby Voice benefits from time to further enhance natural language understanding, and we are currently growing our user testing in the U.S. to prepare for launch,” a Samsung representative said in a statement, noting that other Bixby features, like Bixby Vision, which uses the S8’s camera, are already live.

It’s not clear when the voice-activated feature will ship but The Wall Street Journal reported the assistant won’t ship “until at least late June.” The company had previously said its assistant would be available in the spring. 

The delay is a significant setback for the company, which has touted Bixby as one of the most significant features of its new flagship. The handset has a dedicated Bixby button on the side of its phone, which Samsung won’t let you use for any other feature other than Bixby—even though it’s not yet available. The assistant was made possible by Samsung’s acquisition of Viv Labs, a startup lead by the original creators of Siri. 

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