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[Interview] Samsung’s Integrated AI Center to Lead Samsung’s Development in AI
Samsung recently launched Samsung Research, which will boost the company’s capabilities and research muscle within the field of intelligent technologies. As part of this newly consolidated group, Samsung also created a new AI center, which will form a key foundation of Samsung’s future leadership in AI.
We caught up with Geunbae Lee, the Head of the AI Center, to talk about how Samsung plans to lead the field of artificial intelligence.
Q. The integrated AI Center, with Samsung Research, was officially launched last November. What is your vision for the center?
With technology innovation rife within the AI sector, our vision is to prepare industry-leading AI-based solutions in the areas of recognition, thinking and movement to compete with other key market players by 2020. We will also enhance the competitiveness of our existing businesses. Furthermore, the AI Center will contribute to not only new business and product creation but also effective management, as we are applying AI throughout the manufacturing, marketing and data analysis processes.
Q. What projects are the AI Center currently working on?
In 2018, the first year of the AI Center, we plan to focus on establishing AI platforms which will serve as the foundation for Samsung’s AI technology. We will achieve this first by collecting AI research capacity from within Samsung and recruiting global talent. Our mid- to long-term goal is to show leadership in AI technology development along certain major themes including virtual assistants, robotics and data.
Q. What are your thoughts on how AI will progress in the future? How will Samsung lead the conversation within the industry?
Samsung has already demonstrated its leadership in the field of virtual assistants through Bixby. In order to maintain and expand this capability, we are going to not only develop innovative AI-related products and services, but also establish global AI hubs around the world. For example, we can cooperate with the world’s best universities and communicate with external industry talent through regular, open forums. By doing so, we are planning to take the world’s awareness of Samsung’s AI capabilities one step further.
Q. How is Samsung integrating AI into its various products, including home appliances (Chef Collection, Family Hub, Smart TV, etc.)? Any examples of how it is being used?
Bixby, which supported only Korean and English at the beginning, is now provided in Mandarin Chinese, and it will support more languages in the future. It is also innovating the user experience by connecting itself not only to smartphones but to multiple devices and services. Moreover, based on sensor data in appliances like air conditioners, unusual signals are caught and addressed before they develop into severe issues. This shows that through innovation, combined with existing devices and services, smart electronics are evolving into intelligent electronics.
Q. Samsung has AI research labs in Korea, Canada, the UK and Russia. How will you expand upon these labs and what kind of synergistic effect do you expect?
Samsung is conducting AI research based on local insights through 22 overseas research labs in 15 countries, including the US and the UK. Samsung is also planning to establish new hubs in areas with specialized AI capabilities and will focus on finding the best talent to increase competitiveness. By strengthening our global networks, Samsung will continue to build a single robust, flexible and expandable platform to integrate and optimally utilize AI technology. The AI Center will be at the center of this development by working closely with our global network based on each region’s individual competitive advantages and capabilities.