Samsung’s Elusive Virtual Assistant Sam Pops Up as Brazilian Digital Influencer
Samsung’s three-dimensional mascot Sam caused a brief frenzy of interest a couple of years ago, with some speculating Sam would serve as a replacement for Bixby. Now, the avatar has emerged as a digital blogger and influencer — but only in Brazil.
Samsung’s virtual assistant character was discovered on a webpage built by Lightfarm Studios and the Samsung-owned Cheil Agency to showcase the character, now available only through the Wayback Machine. The 3D virtual human, created with a mix of Adobe and other editing software applied to photographs and digital paintings, has made her reappearance on her own page on Samsung’s Brazilian website. Sam apparently lives in Brazil and runs her blog to share insights on tech and other subjects as an “up-to-date Gen Z girl,” as Samsung calls it.
Despite the recent explosion of generative AI characters and interactive chatbots, Sam appears to be solely a visual fiction overlaying content created by people working for Samsung. The website highlights Sam’s interest in video games, especially Fortnite, and seems to be aimed at becoming a virtual influencer to promote Samsung and its partners. The biography does tease that Sam “started as an assistant in Samsung’s training team,” but nothing more about her role as a potential replacement for Bixby replacement. Instead, she now runs Samsung’s virtual blog and posts videos about its products.
The rumor that Samsung was going to ditch or sell Bixby has died down of late, and seems especially unlikely after Samsung’s recent upgrades to its voice assistant. For instance, the AI recently received new features allowing users to teach the voice assistant to deepfake their voice when answering phone calls. The Custom Voice Creator feature is part of the Text Call service Bixby released last year as a text-to-speech and speech-to-text tool for answering the phone. Users can now submit voice samples that Bixby can employ to train a synthetic voice model mimicking them, though only in Korean right now.