Young-hee Kang is a South Korean voice actress who is best known as the voice of Samsung’s AI assistant Bixby. She was chosen in 2017 to be the voice of Bixby and has voiced the virtual assistant in English, Korean and now Chinese as well.
Young-hee Kang has an extensive background in broadcasting and voice work. She started out as a TV personality on Korea’s EBS channel in the 1990s. She then transitioned into voice acting and has voiced characters in popular animated films and TV shows as well as serving as a radio host.
Some of her best known voice acting roles include Elsa in the Korean dub of Frozen, Judy Hopps in the Korean version of Zootopia, and the Narrator in Battle Royal High School.
As the voice of Bixby, Young-hee Kang records thousands of hours of audio to help train Bixby’s speech recognition system. Her voice gives Bixby a friendly and approachable persona.
What is Young-hee Kang’s Net Worth?
While Samsung does not publicly disclose how much they pay Young-hee Kang for her work as Bixby, it is likely a very lucrative deal given how critical her voice is to the Bixby brand. However, her net worth is still estimated to be in the range of:
$1 million – $5 million
This estimate is based on her over 20 years of experience as a top voice over artist in South Korea in addition to her high profile role as Bixby. Some key factors contributing to her net worth include:
- Salary as Bixby’s voice: Likely in the high six figures given her critical role.
- Various voice acting roles in films, TV and commercials: Standard rates for top Korean voice talent likely range from $5,000 – $50,000+ per role.
- Appearance fees and sponsorships: As a celebrity voice, Kang likely earns substantial income from various appearances, endorsements and partnerships.
- Investments and business interests: She may have investment income from stocks, real estate and other business ventures.
While the exact number is not known, it’s reasonable to estimate Young-hee Kang’s net worth to be in the millions given her high profile career. Her role as the voice of Bixby itself is likely one of her most lucrative endeavors.
Estimated Career Earnings Breakdown
|Source of Income
|Bixby voice role
|$500,000+ per year
|Voice acting roles
|$50,000+ per year
|Appearances & sponsorships
|$200,000+ per year
|Other business interests
Note: These numbers are speculative estimates only.
What Services Does Young-hee Kang Provide as Bixby’s Voice?
As the official voice of Bixby, Young-hee Kang records extensive amounts of spoken audio that helps power the AI assistant’s capabilities. Her main services include:
- Kang records responses to conversational queries that Bixby can use to communicate with users.
- She records phrases and words in multiple languages that Bixby uses for speech recognition.
- Her voice is used for Bixby’s default interactions like waking commands, notifications, etc.
- Kang has recorded thousands of hours of audio to help train Bixby’s neural networks.
- She collaborates with Samsung’s creative team to shape Bixby’s personality and tone of voice.
- Kang helps direct how Bixby’s persona comes through from her voice recordings.
- She provides feedback to improve Bixby’s natural conversation abilities.
- Kang tests pre-release versions of Bixby to ensure high voice quality.
- She monitors updates to catch deviations from Bixby’s intended persona.
- Her input helps finalize voice interactions before they reach end users.
- As the public face behind Bixby, Kang conducts interviews and demos to promote Bixby.
- She helps demonstrate Bixby’s capabilities at Samsung launch events and conferences.
- Her appearances help attach a familiar voice and face to the Bixby brand.
Young-hee Kang’s voice work is integral to shaping Bixby’s user experience and how the AI assistant communicates and interacts with customers. Her services go beyond just voice recording to help Bixby sound natural, friendly, and intelligent.
What Technology Does Young-hee Kang Use for Recording?
Samsung has invested heavily in state-of-the-art recording facilities to enable Young-hee Kang to voice Bixby as clearly and efficiently as possible. Some key technologies include:
Kang records her voiceovers using top-of-the-line Neumann U87 microphones in soundproof recording studios. This pro-level mic captures pristine audio quality to feed into Bixby’s neural networks.
Digital Audio Workstations
She records her voiceovers on digital audio workstations like Avid Pro Tools that allow for multitrack recording and audio engineering. This enables easy editing and post-processing of the recordings.
Samsung uses lossless audio compression formats like FLAC and ALAC to preserve full audio quality when storing or transferring massive amounts of Bixby voice data.
Kang’s recordings are organized into indexed sound libraries so that Bixby can quickly search and access the right audio clips to construct fluent voice responses.
Voice Controlled Smart Home Devices
Kang can use voice controlled smart home devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home to check how Bixby sounds across competitive platforms.
In-House Voice Cloning
Samsung’s AI researchers use machine learning techniques like voice cloning to synthesize Kang’s voice into different Bixby languages and formats.
Cutting-edge audio tools allow Young-hee Kang to voice Bixby with precision and efficiency. Samsung spares no expense to record her voice data with the utmost quality to power Bixby’s human-like conversations.
How Much Does Young-hee Kang Make Per Word?
It’s difficult to estimate Young-hee Kang’s exact per word rate for voicing Bixby, as this information is kept confidential by Samsung. However, based on typical rates for top voice over artists, industry experts estimate she likely makes:
$10 – $50 per word
Some additional details on estimating her per word pay:
- The average voice actor makes $35 – $100 per hour or $0.01 – $0.04 per word.
- But Kang likely makes far more than average as Bixby’s iconic voice across millions of devices.
- For major brand voices like Siri, rates can run $100 – $300 per hour or up to $0.50 per word.
- Kang likely makes at least 2X the average rate, putting her in the $10 – $50 per word range.
- With Bixby using thousands of voice command variations, this adds up significantly.
- Even at a conservative $10 per word, 5000 words would amount to $50,000.
While the exact rate is confidential, it’s reasonable to deduce that Young-hee Kang makes anywhere from $10 – $50+ per individual word recorded as the official voice of Bixby given its value to Samsung. Her voice over role likely provides her with a substantial source of income.
Estimated Career Earnings from Voice Recordings
|Rate Per Word
These numbers assume hypothetical rates and recording volumes to estimate potential career earnings.
Is Young-hee Kang the Only Voice of Bixby?
No, while Young-hee Kang is the most recognizable voice of Bixby, Samsung employs other voice actors to help record and localize Bixby into different languages.
Other Bixby Voice Actors Include:
- Susan Bennett – The original voice of Siri, she records for English Bixby.
- Santitham Cobunrassamee – Thai language Bixby voice actor.
- Abhiroop Mishra – Indian voice artist for Hindi Bixby.
- Özlem Şahin – Turkish actress and voice over artist for Bixby in Turkey.
Samsung uses hundreds of voice actors globally to tailor Bixby’s voice to different local languages and accents. But Young-hee Kang’s voice remains the default for worldwide English and flagship Korean language Bixby experiences.
Given Korea’s status as Samsung’s home country, having a top Korean voice actress like Kang represent Bixby holds special significance. Her voice has become synonymous with Bixby as its first and most prominent persona.
What is Young-hee Kang’s Background?
Young-hee Kang has an extensive career background in broadcasting, entertainment, and voice acting spanning over 25 years:
- B.A. in Postmodern Music from Kyung Hee University
- Former announcer on Korea Educational Broadcasting System (EBS) TV channel
- Former DJ and host on TBS eFM radio station
- Voiced Elsa in the Korean Frozen dub
- Voiced Judy Hopps in the Korean Zootopia dub
- Narrator for the anime Battle Royal High School
- Various TV show voice acting roles
- Selected as launch voice for Bixby in 2017
- Provides voice for Bixby in English, Korean and Chinese
With her experienced background in radio and voice work, Young-hee Kang was perfectly positioned to take on the high profile role as the voice of Samsung’s Bixby. She has since become an indispensable part of Bixby’s continued evolution.
How was Young-hee Kang Chosen to Voice Bixby?
Samsung put substantial research into finding the ideal voice for Bixby before selecting actress Young-hee Kang through a competitive process. Some key factors that contributed to her being chosen include:
Kang was already known in Korea through her EBS TV work making her a trusted, familiar voice.
Her expansive voice acting roles showed her ability to evoke different tones and emotions.
Decades of broadcast and voice work proved her versatility.
Her smooth, lively voice conveys warmth and approachability.
As a top Korean actress, she gives Bixby an authentic Seoul voice.
Kang’s energetic personality meshes well with Bixby’s targeted persona.
After a thorough search and audition process, Samsung ultimately chose Young-hee Kang based on her unique vocal qualities and acting range as the best fit to bring Bixby to life. Her voice was already recognizable while still being flexible enough to adapt to Bixby’s evolving capabilities over time.
What Impact Did Young-hee Kang Have on Bixby?
Young-hee Kang’s voice work has been instrumental in establishing Bixby’s personality and cementing it as a top AI assistant brand. Her impact includes:
Her consistent vocal presence makes Bixby immediately recognizable to users.
Bixby feels more friendly and personable through Kang’s lively voice.
Bixby can retain its iconic voice across global languages thanks to her localization work.
Kang’s feedback helps refine Bixby’s conversational abilities.
She provides a trusted and enthusiastic public face for the Bixby brand as its voice.
The familiarity of her vocal performance helps drive consumer adoption of Bixby.
Young-hee Kang’s starring role as Bixby’s voice has helped shape everything from Bixby’s personality to public perception. Her voice work has defined the Bixby experience and been essential to its maturation as an AI assistant.
What is the Future for Young-hee Kang and Bixby?
Young-hee Kang will likely continue voicing Bixby for years to come as Bixby further expands its global footprint across all of Samsung’s products and services.
Continued Voice Localization
Kang will help Bixby speak more natural languages as Samsung enters new markets.
Added Remote Functions
Her voice work may expand to power remote interactions with Bixby-enabled appliances.
More conversational recordings will help Bixby respond faster and more seamlessly.
Kang will adapt her vocal performance as Bixby assumes new capabilities and usage scenarios.
Live demos and appearances at major Samsung events will further cement Kang’s association with Bixby.
As Bixby becomes more integrated into Samsung’s product ecosystem, Young-hee Kang’s signature voice work will continue leading the way thanks to her years building Bixby’s trusted vocal persona.
In summary, Young-hee Kang has become an indispensable part of powering Samsung’s Bixby virtual assistant thanks to her instantly recognizable voice work over the past 5+ years. While her exact net worth is unknown, reasonable estimates place it in the range of $1 million – $5 million based on her extensive voice acting career and highly lucrative role as Bixby’s lead voice talent.
Kang’s voice presence has shaped Bixby’s personality and fueled its adoption across Samsung devices. Her vocal talents have localized Bixby across global languages while retaining familiarity and warmth. Going forward, Kang’s partnership with Samsung is sure to continue playing a pivotal role as Bixby expands into new interfaces and becomes further integrated into Samsung’s broader ecosystem.
The story of Young-hee Kang and Bixby illustrates the growing importance of thoughtful voice acting and talent behind AI assistants. Finding the right voice is critical to shaping the user experience and building trustworthiness. Young-hee Kang’s vocal talents will no doubt continue resonating with millions of Bixby users for years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
How did Young-hee Kang get started as a voice actress?
Young-hee Kang got her start in broadcasting as a TV personality on the EBS channel in South Korea in the 1990s. This led to her transitioning into voice acting roles like radio dramas and audiobook narration. Her versatile vocal skills eventually landed her major voice roles in animated films and gaming.
What was Young-hee Kang’s breakthrough voice acting role?
Many consider Kang’s role voicing Elsa in the Korean language dub of Disney’s Frozen in 2014 to be her major breakthrough in voice acting. The popularity of Frozen showcased her talents and helped land her more prominent roles.
How much does Samsung pay Young-hee Kang for Bixby?
The exact details of Kang’s deal with Samsung are private. But industry experts estimate she likely earns at least six figures per year given the critical value of her voice work in bringing Bixby to life across Samsung’s product lines.
What other voice actors work on Bixby?
While Kang is the lead voice, Samsung employs hundreds of other voice actors to record Bixby in various languages localized for different countries. Notable names include Susan Bennett (American English) and Santitham Cobunrassamee (Thai).
How long will Young-hee Kang continue voicing Bixby?
Given her integral role defining Bixby’s personality from the start, it seems likely that Kang will continue voicing Bixby for the foreseeable future barring any unforeseen circumstances. Samsung seems highly satisfied with her vocal performance.
Does Young-hee Kang receive royalties for her Bixby work?
The exact payment terms are unknown, but it is unlikely Samsung pays Kang per use royalties for Bixby voice interactions. However, she may earn larger bonuses based on Bixby adoption rates or receive renewed contract options based on performance.
What does Young-hee Kang do besides voice acting?
In addition to voice work, Kang continues to do some TV and radio hosting work in Korea. She also devotes time to charity endeavors, including work improving access to guide dogs. She enjoys serving as a public advocate for broader Samsung initiatives as well.