Inspired by Samsung unveils Bixby voice assistant for upcoming Galaxy S8.

Last week, Samsung announced their intent to launch their own intelligent voice assistant called Bixby with the upcoming line of Galaxy S8 phones. Unlike other voice assistants, Bixby will be activated with special physical button on the phone. Perhaps a bit more interesting is that the Galaxy S8 phones will be launched with a set of preinstalled apps that are “Bixby enabled.” Samsung also plans to release an SDK for 3rd party developers to give Bixby access to their apps.

The limitations of voice assistant accessing mobile and desktop applications is something we discussed last week in another blog (Apple Fills a Hole with Workflow Automation). One future frontier of User Experience may be UX designed for voice assistants and more advanced AI, in addition to us human beings. Apple and Samsung, in their recent announcements, are treating the problem as more of an API issue. But it may be that a generalized intelligent interaction approach may be warranted for voice assistants so that they can do things that are not explicitly programmed in their code or 3rd party developer code. That’s our sci-fi speculation for the day.

Funny enough, the Galaxy S8 with Bixby and the technical limitation of voice assistants is NOT the point of this Coffee Thoughts post.

The “Corporate Personality” as an Actual (AI) Personality.

No, what is actually on our mind this morning is that as the list of voice assistant names lengthen, a trend is emerging about what it means to be a corporation in the present and future. We now have Siri, OK Google, Alexa, Cortana, Watson, and Bixby as literal manifestations of a “corporate personality” which, presumably, will be enriched with greater AI capability as time goes by. Today’s simple task-running voice assistant has the potential – the probability, really – of becoming what we think of when we think of one corporation verses another.

And that, folks, is interesting.

It’s interesting because it suggests a future decision about what these voice assistants will turn into. Will we use a gang of corporate personalities to run our affairs? Will we choose one corporation to run everything for us? Or will we eventually have our own AI personal assistants that interface with corporate personalities to get work done? How mediated will our experiences with corporations be? How many layers deep?

That leads to thoughts about a frontier for brand, marketing, sales, and customer service, too. It’s hard to say if these names we are starting to learn like Siri, Alexa and Cortana, will be with us in the long term. But there cannot be any doubt that the notion of “corporate personality” is in the process of getting an AI-enabled upgrade and literal digital manifestation. My, my. Isn’t that interesting?

Happy Monday!