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We are still waiting on Samsung to launch the Bixby Voice AI, but it might be a while. However, the tech giants is offering a consolation prize of sorts for Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus owners in the US, with a new early access program.
The company announced today that it will be launching a sneak preview of Bixby's voice capabilities for US owners of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. This Bixby Early Access Program will give users a chance to test out the assistant's powers of understanding and responding to voice commands. Data gathered from the tests will be used to improve the quality of Bixby, Samsung says, and help develop new services.
As a part of the early access program, users will be able to use voice to send texts, change settings and make calls. Eventually, Bixby's voice powers will extend well beyond these basic functions.
Bixby is yet to live up to its claims of being a Siri or Google Assistant competitor, but that could change once Voice becomes available and Bixby grows more intelligent over time. The Voice feature is what Bixby is lacking right now, even though the phones launched with a dedicated Bixby button.
Participation to the program is limited and Samsung is not clear on how many people Samsung would accept or how long the preview will last. The preview is also just for Samsung US owners.