Samsung Finishes 2018 with Prestigious Global Awards in Artificial Intelligence

on December 10, 2018
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In recognition of the increasing importance of artificial intelligence (AI) in future innovations, Samsung Electronics has been investing in AI and expanding its capabilities by establishing seven Global AI Centers in 2018. Founded in May, Samsung AI Center-Moscow (SAIC-Moscow) has already made its marks, winning highly prestigious Global AI competitions.


Pavel Ostyakov, one of the researchers from SAIC-Moscow, won first place among 110 teams in the “Inclusive Images Challenge,” a Kaggle1 competition hosted by Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS) 2018, which took place in Montreal, Canada from December 3rd to the 8th. NeurIPS, formerly known as NIPS, is the world’s largest conference in the field of AI and machine learning. In 2017, over 8,000 researchers and scientists attended the event. In addition to those in machine learning and neuroscience research, experts from many related fields such as cognitive science, computer vision, statistical linguistics, and information theory actively participate in the conference. Winning the challenge at this prestigious event was a significant achievement for both Pavel and Samsung. Pavel was also named a Kaggle Grandmaster, which is the highest tier possible for contributors, and is currently ranked as one of the world’s top five scientists on Kaggle.


In the “Inclusive Images Challenge,” participants developed image recognition and classifier models that can successfully perform image classification tasks even when the test images are geographically and culturally different from the previously shown images in the provided dataset.


(Left image, from left) Pavel Ostyakov, a Researcher at Samsung AI Center-Moscow (SAIC-Moscow), and Jin Wook Lee, the Head of Samsung R&D Institute Russia. (Right image) A snapshot of SAIC-Moscow’s opening ceremony, which took place in May of this year


For example, an image classifier may fail to properly apply “wedding” related labels, such as “bride,” “groom,” and “celebration,” to an image, if a couple is not wearing traditional western European wedding attires or colors. This challenge attempts to address the biases in previously existing algorithms and classifier models. Through the challenge, researchers can identify ways to teach image classifiers to generalize the accumulated data and apply them in new geographic and cultural contexts. The expectation is that the scientific community will make even more progress in inclusive machine learning that benefits everyone, everywhere.


Such competitions reflect the movement towards realization of ethical and non-discriminatory AI, which also aligns with Samsung’s goal and vision. To this end, Samsung has recently joined the Partnership on AI (PAI) to take part in the development of inclusive, fair, and responsible AI technology.


Last September, the SAIC-Moscow team also participated in “The 2nd YouTube-8M Video Understanding Challenge,” hosted by the European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV) 2018. ECCV is one of the world’s top research conferences in the area of computer vision, held biennially. In this Kaggle competition, researchers were provided with public YouTube-8M training and validation datasets that consist of millions of videos with labels, and then asked to develop classification algorithms to accurately predict the labels for 700,000 previously unseen YouTube videos. The SAIC-Moscow team utilized a unique approach in its complex model and data analysis, taking second place by a very narrow margin.


An exterior view of the White Square Business Center, where SAIC-Moscow is located


“We love these competitions because they provide us with opportunities to measure ourselves against the best in the AI industry,” said Pavel Ostyakov at SAIC-Moscow. “Researchers at Samsung are obsessed with making AI a part of everyday lives. So, it is exciting to take part in the challenges where we can contribute our skills to develop the technology.”


The global AI centers reflect Samsung’s commitment to next-generation AI development. Besides Russia, there are six others located across the globe – Korea, Silicon Valley and New York in the U.S., Toronto and Montreal in Canada, and Cambridge, the U.K. Each location is conducting research, focused on a different area of unique strengths. These AI centers are playing a pivotal role in realizing Samsung’s vision for human-centric AI technologies and products.


1An online community allowing users to find and publish datasets, explore and build models in a web-based data-science environment, work with others, and enter competitions to solve data science challenges.

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