Samsung Bixby In-Depth – Roger Kibbe, Viv Labs – Voice Tech Podcast ep.061

Roger Kibbe Viv Labs

Episode description

Bixby 2, Samsung’s new voice assistant, is poised to become a major player in the voice ecosystem. With 500m devices sold each year, it represents an enormous opportunity for voice developers. Bixby’s Lead Developer Evangelist, Roger Kibbe, introduces us to the new product and what it means for developers, users, and the frontier of voice.

In this episode, Roger talks about the coming paradigm shift voice presents in the way we will interact with our devices. He gets into what using Bixby will be like, including how their team have incorporated multimodality, and what that might look like while watching TV or booking a hotel.

We take a deep dive into the development side of Bixby too, and Roger gives us some compelling reasons for why developers should get familiar with their IDE right away. He speaks about what it’s like to code on it, focusing on its revolutionary declarative development paradigm, and also touching on building concepts and actions.

We hear about the genius AI behind its use of templates to refine searches and access spreadsheets, and its smart use of categories for third party apps, to deliver the best possible experience.

In our bonus questions (for Voice Tech Pros only), Roger tells us his background story, and shares his advice for budding voice developers. This is an in-depth interview that gets into a range of exciting topics, making for an unmissable episode.


  • Who Viv labs are: a company acquired by Samsung that builds voice tech such as Bixby.
  • The scale of the Samsung device ecosystem and intent to make it Bixby compatible.
  • New paradigms in how we think of technology and interaction enabled by voice technology.
  • Capabilities for users to build and deploy Bixby capsules on phones, TVs, watches, etc.
  • Multimodality and using voice vs graphic UIs to augment input vs output on devices.
  • The relationship between SmartThings and Bixby in providing Samsung’s technology.
  • Language and accent capabilities and limitations for marketplaces offering Bixby.
  • Bixby’s capacity to enable multiple voices for different situations such as games, etc.
  • Difficulties around design and development for switching between voice and touch UIs.
  • A UI using voice and touch on capsules such as com and Stream Picker.
  • Why should devs invest in Bixby capsules? Massive reach, traction, and TV opportunities.
  • Descriptions and capabilities of the Bixby IDE: cloud capabilities, NLU modeling, etc.
  • Understanding Bixby’s model-driven, declarative development paradigm.
  • How AI helps remodel Bixby’s plumbing code so developers can focus on value-add plays.
  • Capabilities of Bixby templates to iteratively refine voice searches/unlock spreadsheet data.
  • Natural language categories: Bixby leverages the services of 3rd party apps.
  • Ideas for restructuring a voice marketplace experience from a keyword search paradigm.
  • Roger’s career at GAP, founding a voice startup, and winning a hackathon at Samsung.
  • What it takes to become a developer evangelist: a love for tech and people.
  • Bad advice: to stay in your lane, and that you need a CS degree to succeed in tech.
  • Self-reflexive skills Roger learned through making his own startup.

Quotes from the show

[26:54] There are about 700 capsules right now enabled on Bixby

[37:23] The very first developers that got in there became really well known

[41:17] In the Bixby IDE you can develop, do NLU modeling, debugging, and there is a simulator.

[51:43] Voice-enabling a spreadsheet lets you build a bunch of interesting ideas

[1:05:12] I’ve wanted to find technology that empowers people and then gets out of the way

Links from the show

About the author

Carl Robinson
Carl Robinson

Carl is the host of the Voice Tech Podcast. Since launching in April 2018, Carl has conducted scores of in-depth interviews with voice industry experts, building one of the most well known media brands in the voice AI space.

He also publishes Voice Chops Tuesday, the number 1 voice technology newsletter, enjoyed by thousands of voice tech fans each week.

Carl is a startup founder, product manager and data scientist, and recently presented a model for voice emotion conversion at ICASSP 2019.

To contact Carl, use the links in this box to send an email, tweet or message.

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