Samsung Finishes 2018 with Prestigious Global Awards in Artificial Intelligence

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


Pavel Ostyakov, one of the researchers from SAIC-Moscow, won first place among 110 teams at 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 8thNeurIPS, formerly known as NIPS, is the world’s largest conference in the field of AI. As of 2017, a total of 8,000 people participated at the event. Apart from machine learning and neuroscience, experts from many related research fields such as cognitive science, computer vision, statistical linguistics, and information theory actively participate in the conference. Winning this challenge was a significant achievement for both Samsung and Pavel as he has been named the Competitions Grandmaster in the Kaggle category of data science expertise, which is the highest tier possible. Pavel also has the honor of being ranked 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 which the recognition models were trained for.


(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 that exist in many of the most popular training datasets. Through this challenge, researchers can identify ways to teach image classifiers by generalizing 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.


Samsung has been a strong proponent for inclusive and fair AI in which the two principles are deeply incorporated into its AI developments, emphasizing the need for a truly global and bias-free artificial intelligence as it plays a bigger role in society. Samsung’s joining of the Partnership on AI (PAI) in November is also a part of this effort.


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 computer vision area and is held biennially. In this Kaggle competition, researchers were provided with public YouTube-8M training and validation datasets that consists of millions of videos with labels, and then asked to develop classification algorithms, which accurately predicts the labels of 700,000 previously unseen YouTube videos. During the competition, the SAIC-Moscow team utilized a unique approach in its complex model and data analysis, placing second 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 to participate with 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 focused on a different area of strengths and leverages its unique characteristics. These AI centers are playing a pivotal role in implementing 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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