This week, Samsung launched the Galaxy S8 smartphone. Of the more interesting features (other than its assumed fire-proofing) is the inclusion of its new virtual assistant, Bixby. Bixby is different from past assistants such as Siri, Cortana, and Alexa in that it reportedly understands context. Yet despite its fancy circuit-boarding school intelligence, it still bears a name that follows a convention similar to that of other assistants. Companies do this for a particularly good reason and, under no circumstances, should you call your hip new child Bixby in honor of it. Because you’d be setting them for a lifetime of annoyance.
Why? Well, the names for most virtual assistants are chosen based on their relative obscurity. This is done logically, as it allows more people to buy them and not worry that they’ll go off all the damn time when someone is speaking to a human. And if you think this is an overreaction, understand that the trend of titling your kid after the newest AI product is, sadly, a thing. According to Baby Center, the name Siri spiked 5 percent in 2012.
Yes, Bixby could go up in flames as a virtual butler (too soon, Samsung?). But if it doesn’t, it could be integrated into an entire wave of smart products, including vacuum cleaners, tablets, and even fridges. And when that day comes, little Bixby would be in for a lot of pain in the ass mix-ups. Just ask anyone named Alexa. Besides, the only thing your kid should have in common with a virtual assistant is their ability to fart on command.