We spoke with a senior Samsung executive who said “no one wants AI.” Paradoxically, this is a very good argument for the Galaxy S24 which relies heavily on artificial intelligence.
Samsung started the year 2024 with a bang by launching its Galaxy S24, Galaxy S24 Plus and Galaxy S24 Ultra. Three smartphones powered by artificial intelligence with a host of features highlighted under the “Galaxy AI” label.
Should we see this as a first step towards the inevitable future of smartphones or as absolutely indispensable options? Probably a bit of both at the moment. In any case, understand our surprise when, following the Unpacked event held in San Jose in the United States, a senior Samsung official announced to us point blank that “ no one wants AI ».
What ? How can he declare this on the very day his company reveals its great ambitions around artificial intelligence on smartphones? Some of you will no doubt have understood that these words make much more sense once put into context. Still, the words chosen reveal some interesting things about Samsung’s vision.
Samsung’s vision on AI
The context precisely. Alongside the presentation of the Galaxy S24, Frandroid attends, with other European media, a round table with Patrick Chomet, executive vice-president and Head of Customer Experience Office at Samsung. He has several roles within the firm, but he can be considered a great planner.
Its main mission is to design the user experience of Galaxy products in advance and then plan and oversee the evolution of the devices and their interfaces. He is also in charge when it comes to establishing or deepening partnerships with other groups such as Google. Furthermore, although our interlocutor is French, the entire conversation took place in English. The comments reported here have therefore been translated.
As a good spokesperson, Patrick Chomet affirms that the Galaxy S24 and the AI functions they carry sign “The beginning of a new era“. He then takes the time to remind you that Samsung is above all a company that manufactures devices. However, for said devices to be pleasant to use, several factors must obviously be considered. Among them, we must make life easier for users, and therefore “to create things that work“.
“Nobody wants AI”
And this is precisely where we find his famous phrase. “Nobody wants AI“. However, what Patrick Chomet means by this is that people who buy Samsung products are not going to fall for a new smartphone just because the brand has stamped it with these two letters “AI» — even if it is of course a marketing argument that will be greatly emphasized.
However, he insists on the fact that artificial intelligence makes it possible to unlock new relevant features and it is these that will appeal to the public. In other words, the simple notion of artificial intelligence is not enough to interest people. We need options that work.
In the Galaxy S24, Galaxy AI functions are introduced into different layers of the user experience to offer translation, summary summaries and even intelligent photo editing. So many use cases deemed relevant by Patrick Chomet and Samsung and where AI has proven to be a satisfactory added value for the user experience. Our tests will subsequently show that the rendering of these various options can vary depending on the situation. However, we understand the process a little better upstream.
We then ask a question to take the conversation further. You should in fact know that, at the end of 2023, Samsung presented Gauss, its own large language model (LLM). Instinctively, many journalists assumed that this LLM had served as the basis for the majority of the AI functions of the Galaxy S24 and certain information distilled by Samsung France before Unpacked pointed in this direction. However, there seems to have been some confusion, because, during the conference, the brand heavily highlighted its alliance with Google to develop these new features.
In other words, a good dose of Galaxy AI options rely on Google Gemini instead of Gauss, except possibly for local translation functions, without an Internet connection. In short, we ask for more details on this subject, but here again, Patrick Chomet’s response disconcerts us: “no one cares».
Although spoken without any malice, these words once again take us by surprise. The spokesperson says that the end user simply wants a product and features that work and that what happens behind the scenes doesn’t matter. To meet this expectation, he explains that Samsung has, each time, opted for the solution that works best.
“Obviously we want to make as many things as possible work directly on the device”, without needing to go through a remote server “and we will gradually move in this direction“. And to add that there are questions of costs, confidentiality and performance (speed, latency, etc.) to take into consideration for each proposed functionality. “We prioritize priorities based on their relevance“.
In the meantime, we still don’t know whether Google or Samsung is in charge of these AI functions…
AI to make life easier
Patrick Chomet firmly believes in AI in smartphones. Its leitmotif comes down to wanting to eliminate as much as possible the potential friction that could compromise the fluidity of the user experience. He explains that he worked hand in hand with his counterpart at Google, Hiroshi Lockeimer, the boss of Android, to adopt and promote RCS which replaces the obsolete SMS.
Same story for the file sharing tool with Google Nearby Share which merges with Samsung’s Quick Share (and adopts the name). The idea is to simplify the user journey. In this same perspective, and on a personal basis, Patrick Chomet admits that his big dream is to ensure that there is “never need to go to the smartphone settings“. Everything could be done through AI.
It will be interesting to observe in the years to come if artificial intelligence indeed allows Patrick Chomet to achieve this objective. In any case, our discussion with him allows us to understand a little better why Samsung is relying so much on artificial intelligence to shake up our smartphones. Everyone is free to believe it or not. At least, it is always reassuring to see a company of this scale have a real long-term vision. This is a no-brainer in itself, but it always feels better when you say it.