Samsung has already missed its deadline to launch a full version of Bixby’s voice features in the US by spring. But according to a new report by The Korea Herald, the delay wasn’t caused by just linguistic issues of Bixby struggling to understand English. Samsung also lacks enough data needed to develop Bixby’s deep learning technology.
“Developing Bixby in other languages is taking more time than we expected mainly because of the lack of the accumulation of big data,” a Samsung spokesperson said. Samsung launched the Bixby voice preview in a limited release in June, though it’s unclear whether the lack of big data means simply not enough beta testers signed up, or if the research team hasn’t received enough diversity in voice samples. (Even Google has had to turn to Reddit to get more data on English spoken in different accents.) Samsung engineers are also reportedly struggling to communicate between the US and Korea offices, with language and geographical barriers contributing to delays.
Meanwhile, Samsung appears to be pushing Bixby in devices other than a smartphone, with a report today claiming the company is working on a smart speaker powered by its voice assistant. While there’s no release date for the speaker, the Wall Street Journal claims a full Bixby release in the US is unlikely to arrive “before the second half of July.”