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AI in your pocket: Samsung Galaxy S to feature real-time phone call translator

World’s largest smartphone maker advances AI progress for phones in phases

Nov. 9, 2023 - 15:13 By Jo He-rim

Samsung Electronics hints at real-time translation feature for phone calls on its upcoming flagship Galaxy S phones. (Samsung Electronics)

Samsung Electronics’ flagship Galaxy S smartphones will offer a real-time translation function for phone calls, the tech giant said Thursday.

The surprise announcement comes a day after it unveiled Samsung Gauss, its own generative AI model, which will make its commercial debut on the upcoming Galaxy S phones in 2024, possibly the Galaxy S24 series.

With a vision to open a “new era of AI” for mobile devices, Samsung said it will be introducing Galaxy AI for its smartphones to offer various benefits, one of them being the AI Live Translate Call function, which aims to eliminate language barriers among users.

The new real-time call translation function would work as a “personal translator,” and will be integrated into the device’s call feature. Audio and text translations will appear in real-time as users speak, like closed captions during a live-streamed show, Samsung explained.

The tech giant also underscored that users would be able to get rid of the hassle of having to use third-party apps for translation and that it would also keep conversations private as the translation process will be done "on-device."

“Mobile technology has an incredible power to enable connection, productivity, creativity and more for people around the world, but until now, we haven’t seen mobile AI ignite that (power) in truly meaningful ways,” said Choi Won-joon, executive vice president and head of R&D of the mobile eXperience business division at Samsung.

“Galaxy AI is our most comprehensive intelligence offering to date, and it will change how we think about our phones forever.”

According to Samsung, its Galaxy AI is powered by on-device AI developed by Samsung and also cloud-based AI the company worked on with its industry partners.

The world’s largest smartphone maker by shipments is also expected to announce the number of languages that Galaxy AI would service at the Unpacked event for the Galaxy S24 series, which is expected to be held in January in the US.

On Wednesday, Samsung debuted Samsung Gauss, making an official bid to compete in the burgeoning AI market that is already crowded by its archrival Apple and other global tech giants.

Samsung Gauss would be playing a role in the smooth operation of Galaxy AI, according to Samsung. Among three of its main functions is Samsung Gauss Language, which is a generative language model that can be used to compose emails, summarize documents and translate content.

The tech giant appears to have taken steady steps to develop the latest in-house language translation feature, from its S Translation service discontinued in 2020, to Bixby Vision's live translation.

The new Galaxy S24 series is rumored to have adopted a flat screen, moving away from the curved edges of its predecessors, and is expected to use Samsung's own application processor Exynos 2400, designed by Samsung System LSI, Samsung’s logic chip design arm.