Love them or hate them, virtual AI assistants are here to stay. They became part of our daily lives when Apple introduced its Siri voice-activated technology in 2011 before Microsoft brought us Cortana in 2013.
Amazon then released Alexa in 2014 and Google Assistant became available in 2016. Meanwhile, Samsung released its own virtual assistant, Bixby in 2017.
With such an array of non-human companions to choose from, human-robot interactions are no longer confined to science fiction, with artificial intelligence officially becoming part of our daily lives for the past decade.
Although still in their primitive stage, these virtual assistants have already impressed us by demonstrating what AI can do and how it can be used to make our lives easier.
We can ask our virtual assistants questions such as “what will the weather be like today?” while deciding whether or not to pack a raincoat before heading out in the morning, or “what’s the traffic like on the M1?” that we decide which route to take to get to work.
That said, the technology is not yet advanced enough to address deep philosophical questions such as “what is the meaning of life?” or ‘what do women really want?’
Some might have trouble understanding certain accents, while others might not know when to speak and when to be quiet. Bixby, for example, often kicks in to answer questions even when no one has used the trigger word, “Hi Bixby.”
Twitter and Reddit are particularly inundated with complaints from angry Samsung customers who are annoyed by Bixby’s “terrible” service, asking how to disable the virtual assistant.
One person said: “I just watched a test of the smartest phone assistants, Google Assistant on Android came first by a margin, then Siri on iPhone came second, Alexa for Amazon came third… Samsung’s Bixby is arrived last. No lies, this one is kinda dumb.
Another person tweeted: “Bixby is way too boring to have on the phone,” comparing it to the modern equivalent of Clippy, the discontinued Microsoft Office assistant that looked like a paper clip.
Bixby is automatically installed on Samsung devices, even though the same devices run on Android and therefore include the much more popular Google Assistant. When Bixby was first introduced, turning it off wasn’t an option, which frustrated many Samsung users. However, after being inundated with complaints, Samsung has finally revealed a way to turn it off.
How to turn it off
Ironically, to remove Bixby from your Samsung device, you first need to set it up by tapping the Bixby icon. On the bright side, set up can be done very quickly.
If you’re using a Galaxy Note 10 or Galaxy S20, you can then access your device’s Settings options and access advanced features. After that, you just disable Bixby Routines.
The next step is to click where it says Side Key and turn off the Double Tap setting. Underneath it should say Press and Hold, with one option being Wake Bixby and the other being the Power Off menu. Click on the latter.
If you’re using a Galaxy S8/S9/S10 with Android 9 or 10, you can’t disable Bixby, but you can change the settings to ensure that the button that activates Bixby requires a double press.
You can do this by going to Settings and tapping the magnifying glass in the top right, then tapping Bixby and choosing the entry that says App Info, Bixby Voice.
After that, enter your Bixby Voice settings and change the auto-listen option to Never. Then tap Voice Wake-Up and disable the following settings: Wake With Hi Bixby, Use While Phone Locked, and Bixby Dictation.
Go to Bixby Key and change it to Double Press to Open Bixby, then turn off the marketing notification. Finally, long press on your home screen and turn off Bixby Home… and that’s it, you’re done! You will no longer have to worry about Bixby interrupting your good experience with Samsung.