Roger Kibbe currently works as the Senior Developer Evangelist at Viv Labs which develops the conversational AI technology that powers Samsung Bixby. Roger has been working in tech for over 20 years as a consultant, technical architect and strategist, and founder of a voice startup. A big-picture thinker and achiever, Roger is passionate about using technology as an enabler of great people experiences. An accomplished speaker and a proven thought-leader, Roger enjoys sharing his fountain of knowledge with others and has presented at some of the most prominent voice and AI conferences in America, including Voice Summit, Project Voice, Samsung SDC, Dreamforce and VMWorld.
Roger Kibbe, Senior Developer Evangelist with Viv Labs (Samsung's Bixby), took some time to chat with us about what his team is working on, an update on Bixby's marketplace and some of his predictions for voice tech moving into 2020 and beyond.
0:01 - 0:11
So I'm Roger Kibbe - I'm a Senior Developer Evangelist for Viv Labs and are really the brains behind Samsung Bixby...that's Samsung's AI voice assistant.
0:12 - 1:26 → What's on the roadmap for your team in 2020?
We have real ambitious plans for 2020. So right now we run all of our smartphones and there's hundreds of millions of those shipped a year, but what we're really excited about is the other devices that Samsung ships. So we're the world's largest TV manufacturer and we will be enabling Bixby in the TV and enabling a third-party developer to develop voice experiences for TV, the watch and then we have smart appliances. And so what we're real excited about is taking voice, you know, beyond the smart speaker, beyond the smartphone, and bringing it in your TV or bringing it in to your appliance and then you think about the kind of creativity that could unlock. You know, I was just having a conversation with someone around, ‘hey the whole family sitting around the TV and maybe there’s a voice interactive game with the TV having multimodal graphics, but everybody’s playing the game via voice'. I think there’s incredible things you could do there and that’s really the biggest thing that’s happening for us in 2020 is you can develop now for the TV, the appliances and the phone, but we’re releasing the marketplace which will allow end-users to actually enable all those creative capsules that people come up with for these devices.
1:27 - 2:00 → Does Bixby plan on expanding its marketplace this year?
So right now, we have...we're available so you can build for the U.S. marketplace and the Korean marketplace and...um i’ll say that we are aggressively looking at other areas to open up that marketplace. And right now, I mean, you can develop throughout the world using Bixby - but when I say the U.S. and Korea - that’s where those end-users can actually go and enable it. But we have developers in Europe, we have developers in India, we have developers in China, we have developers globally - but right now end users only in U.S. and Korea, but that’s going to change real soon.
2:01 - 3:03 → What are your predictions for the future of voice tech?
You know, when I look at big companies and what they're doing with Voice, what’s happening now that’s really exciting is where Voice kind of sat in that kind of - i’ll call it the innovation budget previously and people were playing with it - you’re now starting...there’s actually a voice budget in the marketing budget which means companies are getting real about it and saying just like we have to have website, we have to have a mobile app, we have to have a social media presence...we now must have a voice presence. And that’s super exciting. And having all these big companies actually jump in with both feet and not just dip their toes in there. And other than that for everyone else, I mean, you know, I talk about our additional devices. I know our competitors...I know there’s some really interesting devices Amazon’s putting voice on. I love thinking beyond the smart speaker and enabling voice interactions with devices that are new and interesting and I think that a lot of that is going to start in 2020 and move forward.
Discussing the rise of independent voice assistants and their likely lifecycle.
He previously founded and ran three Internet companies (I/PRO, Topica & TextMarks) and now is set on better understanding voice.