Samsung is generating excitement for its upcoming lineup of smartphones in the Galaxy S24 series by touting it as “a revolutionary era of mobile AI.” In anticipation of its Unpacked event scheduled for later this month, the company is guaranteeing “a completely fresh mobile encounter driven by AI.”
Samsung will not be the initial company to explore the realm of AI that has been popularized by ChatGPT and Midjourney. The prominent smartphone chip manufacturers, Qualcomm and MediaTek, have recently showcased the remarkable on-device generative AI features of their newest high-end and mid-range processors.
The transition is apparent. AI is poised to become the prevailing marketing term for smartphones. However, what precisely can we expect? The undisclosed manner in which these so-called “AI advancements” will contribute significant value remains a mystery. Alternatively, it could be an existing technique awaiting rebranding or integration into a distinct application.
Samsung has the potential to either excel or fail dramatically in delivering the goods.
Let us begin by discussing the Galaxy S24 series phones. These devices will come equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip. Qualcomm has made bold claims about the impressive generative AI capabilities of this top-tier chipset. One notable claim is that it can produce an image from text prompts in just one second using the Stable Diffusion AI technology.
Qualcomm has provided a detailed technical explanation of how it has optimized the Stable Diffusion technology for on-device operation. MediaTek, a rival chipmaker, also asserts that its flagship Dimensity 9300 chip’s on-device AI capabilities will enable text-to-image generation in less than a second, thanks to Stable Diffusion.
Currently, we already have a phone powered by Qualcomm’s latest flagship chip, the iQoo 12. Interestingly, the phone’s marketing materials do not mention any generative AI features, particularly the ones being hyped by Qualcomm and MediaTek.
Now, the question arises: what can we do with these AI-generated ninja cat pictures?
Let’s assume that Samsung will be the one to offer the text-to-image generation feature. What will it ultimately achieve? At present, we do not know if this text-to-image trick will be included in a third-party app or if Samsung will integrate it into one of its own applications.
The real question is how much value this feature will add to our everyday smartphone usage. What will an average Galaxy S24 buyer do with images generated from a single line of text prompt? Perhaps they will use these AI-generated images to add some excitement to their conversations or create a buzz on social media.
However, there is still some inconvenience involved. You will need to generate these images from a line of text, save them locally (or directly copy them to the clipboard), and then paste the AI images into the chat app of your choice. The most optimal solution would be if Samsung somehow integrates the image-to-text generation feature directly into the keyboard.
Where generative AI really needs to be
Currently, the most impressive aspect of generative AI lies in its ability to separate smartphone tasks from the cloud, eliminating the need for constant online connectivity and providing an added layer of security. However, in order to achieve this, on-device AI capabilities must also function as an assistant, similar to Google Assistant, Alexa, or Siri.
Ideally, these AI assistants should seamlessly integrate into our daily lives. Imagine instructing your generative AI assistant to gather all cat images from your photo library, create a collage, and send it to your father. Alternatively, you could ask it to plan the perfect itinerary for a day trip to Disneyland, find the most affordable ticket for the upcoming weekend, and neatly organize all the details on your Google Calendar.
Furthermore, if an on-device generative AI tool no longer transfers your data to cloud servers and performs all operations locally on your smartphone, concerns regarding data privacy diminish significantly. Although this is primarily a theoretical concept at the moment, it raises interesting questions about Samsung’s Galaxy AI vision. It remains to be seen whether Samsung can truly deliver meaningful generative AI experiences or if they are merely offering a collection of impractical and gimmicky features.