Samsung infuses generative AI into its smartphones

(Photo: Getty Images)

San José — Samsung presented Wednesday its new range of smartphones, the Galaxy S24, and new generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools integrated by default to translate conversations simultaneously or even facilitate the search for information through mobile applications.

Overtaken by a competitor for the first time since 2010 (according to IDC), the South Korean electronics giant, which sold fewer smartphones than Apple last year, held its annual conference in San José, in the heart of the Valley of Silicon.

With the support of stars such as the most popular YouTuber in the world, the American MrBeast, and the streamer Pokimane, the brand revealed the Galaxy S24 (from US$800), S24+ (US$1,000) and S24 Ultra (US$1,300).

These new devices will “democratize the changes” caused by generative AI, immediately promised TM Roh, president of the Mobile Experiences unit.

This technology, which allows the production of content (texts, images, etc.) upon simple request in everyday language, conquered the world in 2023 and is triggering a frantic race among large technology groups.

Samsung highlighted for the first time its simultaneous translation tool, available during phone conversations or in person. “It’s like having your own interpreter,” said Drew Blackard, vice president of the Korean company.

New generative AI capabilities will also help users write more formal or more playful messages (in the style of Shakespeare, for example) or even summarize conversations while driving, specifying who said what.

The “Circle to Search” tool, developed by Google, allows you to draw a circle on an object in any app (a piece of furniture in a YouTube video, for example) and ask your phone a question (like “where can I find this sofa?” ”).

Samsung smartphones run on Android, Google’s operating system, which powers most smartphones in the world and competes fiercely with iOS on iPhones.

Wanting to preserve the image of a company that defines technology rather than follows trends, Apple employees only mention generative AI reluctantly. But in November, Tim Cook, head of the group, admitted investing “more than a little in this area”, in response to a question from an analyst.

In 2023, Apple won the largest share of the global smartphone market (20%), surpassing Samsung for the first time, according to an IDC study published Monday.

Like the iPhone 15 launched last year, Samsung’s S24 is made of titanium, a more durable material, according to the company.

AI should also be used to improve smartphone cameras to enhance users’ photos.

Samsung also presented this Wednesday a new connected health accessory, a ring called “Galaxy Ring”, without giving further details at the moment.

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