Deep Dives Level Up Newsletters Saved Articles Challenges

Samsung’s unofficial AI assistant ‘Samantha’ has already inspired a porn genre

By Malavika Pradeep

Jun 14, 2021

COPY URL

On 28 May 2021, Lightfarm Studios, a Brazilian visual arts production house, dropped a series of 3D renderings of a virtual assistant named ‘Samantha’ (shortened ‘Sam’). Decked in a black Samsung Galaxy t-shirt with brown hair, piercing blue eyes, rosy cheeks, freckles and all the right piercings, the renderings featured the female avatar posing with various Samsung devices. A few days within its release, however, the posts were removed by Lightfarm Studios from both its website and Facebook page. But the internet had already simped.

The images, along with a short test clip of the model, were both screenshotted and screen recorded—as Samantha now lives in the hearts of both Android and iOS users alike. But while Samatha was being illustrated in different art styles and jumping on the latest Capcut trend, a proactive corner of the internet took notice. Rule 34 artists and motion animators, I’m looking at you.

Within 24 hours, Samatha pioneered #SamanthaSamsung on TikTok (currently with 8.4 million views) along with a list of subreddits dedicated to the Not Safe For Work (NSFW) interpretation of the avatar. One of the most popular subreddit in this regard is r/SamsungGirlr34. Created on 31 May 2021, the subreddit gained over 50,000 subscribers in two days. Currently amassing a whopping 171,000 “degenerates” as members, the subreddit usually features NSFW memes, fan art and 30-second GIFs. These submissions are often cross-posted onto other subreddits—each with a minimum of 10,000 members.

Titled along the lines of “Sam has seen your search history and wants to help you” and “Please insert your meat drive to get an update,” the content featured on these subreddits essentially play on the concept of sexualising technology. Think charging ports and ‘user’-friendliness. “How can I assist you today, sir?” are common conversation starters in terms of the NSFW comics featuring the avatar.

Apart from pushing the creative limits of visual artists on canvases, Samantha has also garnered her fair share of cosplays and live-action rendering. On the adult entertainment site Pornhub, the virtual assistant has inspired more than 47,000 videos till date. Featuring both hentai (a subgenre of Japanese anime featuring sexual or pornographic art) and live-action, the videos usually depict Samatha as a virtual assistant who comes to life via a Virtual Reality headset.

“So, when can I expect Samantha to be integrated into my Samsung phone? And will she replace Bixby?” I hear you ask. Sorry to burst your bubble, but Samantha is not Samsung’s official virtual assistant…yet. As of today, Sam is still a 2D chatbot of the Samsung Service team—designed to auto-respond to consumer queries. The appearance of the 2D chatbot is also subjected to a user’s location. For example, if you’re in the Philippines, Sam would appear as a 2D, male customer-service guide. Sam is also not designed with the purpose of replacing Bixby. In stark contrast to Bixby, which works with apps and products via voice commands, Sam is built into various apps like Facebook Messenger to help with customer queries.

“Sam, Samsung’s virtual assistant, decided to update the visuals and we gave her a little help,” Lightfarm Studios wrote in the deleted post. “The character, which already had a 2D existing version, underwent a complete redesign to return to social networks in a 3D version—much more modern, exciting and with more expressions, poses and textures.” Designed in collaboration with Cheil Agency, a marketing company owned by Samsung, the post also highlighted how the team devoted itself to developing realistic materials, mainly for the character’s hair and clothing, so that Sam appeared “aesthetically pleasing.”

Although unofficial, Samantha has already coaxed many iPhone users into buying a Samsung in hopes of the company incorporating the virtual assistant into their interface. And with new Reddit submissions and TikTok videos popping up every minute, all eyes are on Samsung to deliver a much-needed blow and thereby seal the trend once and for all. (Or coax other tech giants to introduce their own 3D virtual assistants—the internet is not complaining!)

https://twitter.com/nimragdraws/status/1402337134573457411