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Samsung Galaxy S8's 'Bixby Vision' AI is getting more real

Samsung has trademarked a feature that's rumored to juice the Galaxy S8's camera.

Josh Miller/CNET

The rumor that Samsung will bring a new AI assistant named Bixby to the upcoming Galaxy S8 gains more credence with the news that Samsung has trademarked a feature called "Bixby Vision," according to Dutch site Galaxy Club.

When Samsung acquired AI startup Viv Labs last year, people suspected a Samsung assistant wasn't far from becoming reality.

We first heard of Bixby's role as a virtual assistant that would get its own button. And while that still may be the case, it appears there could be another part to the story, too. One rumored function is the assistant's ability to use the S8's camera to perform visual searches and text recognition, according to Sam Mobile. There have been standalone apps and filters that attempt to do this, too, but it would be a first for a Samsung phone.

The Galaxy S8 is poised to stand as the company's shot at redemption after Samsung stopped selling the Note 7 after two unrelated rounds of battery fires threatened buyer safety and trust. In order to redeem its fallen brother, the S8 will need to house compelling features -- a brand-new camera gimmick would be one way to pull ahead of the competition.

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Bixby could include other features such as the ability to conduct payments. Unfortunately, you may have to wait a while to hear more about it, after Samsung said it will not reveal the S8 at the MWC show next month.

Samsung would't be the first to trumpet AI in a phone. HTC's recently announced U Ultra and U Play contain AI that the company says will help its phone learn your preferences over time. Huawei's Honor Magic (which is just for China right now) also uses AI as a convenience tool.

Samsung did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.

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