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Samsung turns to AI to regain smartphone throne

Samsung released its latest Galaxy smartphones with new artificial intelligence features as the South Korean giant seeks win back its spot.

Samsung shows off new flagship Galaxy phones packed with artificial intelligence features at a media event in the Silicon Valley city of San Jose, California. — © AFP
Samsung shows off new flagship Galaxy phones packed with artificial intelligence features at a media event in the Silicon Valley city of San Jose, California. — © AFP
Glenn CHAPMAN

Samsung on Wednesday released its latest Galaxy smartphones with new artificial intelligence features as the South Korean giant seeks win back its spot as the world’s biggest phone seller from Apple.

“Artificial Intelligence will bring about great change in the mobile industry,” Samsung president T.M. Roh said as he kicked off an event in a sports center in the Silicon Valley city of San Jose, California.

Mobile devices will become the primary access points for AI, with Samsung aiming to be a leader on that path, Roh added.

The premium S24 Ultra unveiled at the event was said to have the capability to translate foreign language phone calls and texts while they were taking place.

A Samsung executive likened it to having an interpreter taking part in multi-lingual phone calls.

Available in 13 languages, the on-device function is powered by Samsung’s own AI technology.

Through a partnership with Google, which makes the smartphone’s Android operating system, the S24 also offers an unprecedented search function.

This, also using AI, functions by allowing users to simply circle a phrase or image they want to search.

Google search vice president Cathy Edwards shows off an AI-powered feature that lets users do online searches by circling things they see in apps on Samsung's new Galaxy flagship phones

Google search vice president Cathy Edwards shows off an AI-powered feature that lets users do online searches by circling things they see in apps on Samsung’s new Galaxy flagship phones – Copyright GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File Kent Nishimura

The feature eliminates the need to juggle between apps for searches with meddlesome cut and pasting, the company said.

Messaging and car system features such as navigation were also augmented with AI to either recommend responses or tend to tasks while letting drivers focus on roads.

AI also strengthens the phone’s camera powers, with generative AI helping to fill in or remove backgrounds.

These AI features are powered both from the cloud or from the phone itself and several use Google’s Gemini foundational model that also powers the search engine giant’s Bard chatbot.

Similar AI features are widely rumored to be part of the next iPhone 16, probably to be released later this year.

Much like Apple’s already released iPhone 15, Samsung’s S24 comes with a titanium frame, which the company said allowed for better durability.

The Galaxy S24 series will begin shipping on January 31 with the top of line Ultra starting at $1,299.

The S24 came out just days after industry data showed that Apple’s iPhone for the first time became the world’s biggest selling smartphone after Samsung’s 12-year run as leader.

According to the International Data Corporation, the iPhone stole Samsung’s crown in 2023 with 234.6 million units sold, compared to the South Korean firm’s 226.6 million units.

Samsung also teased a smart ring at the end of the event, providing a glimpse on screen but giving no details.

AFP
Written By

With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

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