How Samsung differentiates its on-device AI from others

Will consumer electronics in 2024 be defined by on-device AI?

Only the coming years will tell, but for right now nearly every manufacturer with the capabilities and willpower to feature on-device AI for its products is doing so.

In the smartphone space it was Samsung that beat many others to the punch with Galaxy AI on the S24 series, and while it is has been rolled out to older generation of smartphone and added new elements in a short amount of time, there are some competitors looking to overtake the South Korean firm.

We have already seen the likes of HONOR and OPPO deepen relationships with Google, which powers some aspects of Galaxy AI, as well as Apple doing its own thing thanks to a collaboration with OpenAI.

So how does Samsung ensure that Galaxy AI is not only different from the swathe of on-device AI being announced of late, but performs better too?

To find that out we sat down Justin Hume, VP of Mobile at Samsung South Africa, for more insight. We spoke with him a week before the latest Galaxy Unpacked event in Paris, where new foldables featured enhanced versions of applications found on the Galaxy AI suite.

First and foremost, Hume explained that while other Android OEMs hay have relationships with Google and Qualcomm (Snapdragon), Samsung’s ones with the tech giant and silicon maker is simply better, and quite frankly, more exclusive.

“Firstly at the processor level, working with the likes of Qualcomm and its Snapdragon chipset, gives us (Samsung) certain capability in terms of how the AI handling all the information being processed. We see that as being one advantage, and that’s often a time to market advantage as opposed to a sustainable one,” explained Hume.

“Second with Google we are the primary launch and distribution partner for these services, so we will continue to iterate and develop with them in that regard,” he emphasised.

Hume is also careful to point out that the Google-powered elements of Galaxy AI only form a part of the entire experience, as there are applications that other smartphones have not been able to replicate.

“That’s very much in the cloud services,” he noted regarding the collaborative efforts with Qualcomm and Google. “However, Samsung is heavily focused on our own AI capability on-device. Whether that be the translation functionality, that’s where will try to develop the differentiation,” the VP continued.

Added to this is the fact that Samsung has already made enhancements on services that were made available globally less than six months ago, giving Samsung a sizeable head start over any rivals.

“The third part of this on-device AI ecosystem is what we saw today by asking how do we start having these experiences across the device. I put it to you that it’s fairly easy to have AI work across devices, but to have it work meaningfully across device is where the nuance comes in. Does it make sense, does it enhance?,” Hume posited.

“That’s what we’re really striving to create,” he concluded.

With on-device AI being very much a flagship feature at this stage, it will be interesting to whether Samsung will be able to beat competitors in bringing it to the mid-range. The company has done so with 5G connectivity on its Galaxy A phones, so doing the same with AI is certainly on the cards.

Getting on-device AI in the hands of more consumers at an affordable price point is when the needle really starts to move.


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