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Samsung wants to spend $1bn on AI

Samsung is ready to make an even bigger splash in the artificial intelligence space in 2017, beyond introducing its upcoming “Bixby” AI assistant.

The South Korean company has earmarked around $1 billion for AI acquisitions, according to a Samsung US employee quoted here.

Related: MWC 2017

AI is an area Samsung is increasingly placing a great deal of emphasis on. It was only last year the company acquired AI specialists Viv Labs, and its soon-to-be-released virtual assistant should be based on technology from that very company.

Bixby, which is likely to launch on the Galaxy S8, will have eight languages from launch, putting it ahead of the Google Assistant, which currently supports five languages.

galaxy s8AI assistant ‘Bixby’ is said to be included on the upcoming Galaxy S8

One tipped feature that has a lot of potential to cause a stir is the ability for S8 users to scan objects using the onboard camera and receive useful information as feedback.

Smartphones won’t be the only devices to benefit from Bixby, with the company explaining last November that the plan is to bring voice assistant services to connected home appliances and wearables.

All the rhetoric from Samsung points to a concerted push into everything AI, and it would hardly be a surprise to see an Amazon Echo/Google Home rival in the near future.

Watch: What to expect from the Galaxy S8

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