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Samsung's Bixby assistant fails English, gets held back a month

The worst thing to happen to Samsung Mobile in at least a few months

Samsung has confirmed that it will be delaying the release of its Bixby voice assistant in the US, after the software showed problems with processing English-language requests.

The Korean consumer electronics giant on Thursday confirmed that Bixby's voice features will not be going live until around the end of June while it works out the language barrier. It had been originally slated for arrival in late May.

The delay to Bixby comes as Samsung's latest handset, the Galaxy S8, has now been on the market for more than two months. The voice features have been enabled in Korea, where Bixby is better able to handle voice requests.

"Bixby Voice benefits from time to further enhance natural language understanding, and we are currently growing our user testing in the US to prepare for launch," a spokesperson told El Reg.

"Key features of Bixby, including Vision, Home and Reminder, are available now."

Pitched as an even-more-comprehensive take on the Siri, Alexa, and Google's personal assistant, Bixby has been presented by Samsung as not only a personal assistant for phones, but also a possible mainstay in other appliances, including TVs, refrigerators and even air conditioners.

Samsung has also said it plans to introduce a software developer's kit for Bixby to integrate with third-party apps, once it gets the language problem figured out.

The delay will be yet another bit of bad news for Samsung in its efforts to rebuild its mobile brand in the wake of the disastrous Galaxy Note 7 recall and a political scandal that has taken down key executives at the top of Samsung's corporate structure. ®

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