In a few years time, users may not have to figure out how to operate different devices individually or make a choice between services. Instead, the new world of connected devices and services based on artificial intelligence (AI) will be able to recommend and perform, on their own, integrated and seamless functions for users in and across environments from the home to office to car.
For example, in the home, when a user wakes up in the morning on a rainy day, the home lights will gradually brighten, while music fit for a rainy day is selected and played in the background. A cup of coffee will be prepared as soon as the user says “coffee” while stepping into the kitchen and the refrigerator will also recommend meal ideas for the day, asking the user whether he or she would like to buy ingredients online.
In the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry, Samsung Electronics is uniquely positioned to bring this world of connected AI services to life, based on the almost half a billion connected devices the company sells every year. In fact, given the typical lifecycle of a device, there are more than a billion Samsung devices actively used around the world at any given time.
Samsung’s device portfolio also is the industry’s broadest, and includes mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and wearable devices, office devices such as PCs, signages and Samsung Flip, devices for the home such as Samsung Smart TVs, Family Hub and FlexWash and FlexDry, and much more.
At this year’s CES, Samsung highlighted its latest innovations in its vision to drive the Internet of Things (IoT) supported by AI. Samsung Smart TVs now integrated with Bixby, are able to play music and shows personalized for users, as well as show who is at the front door or what is inside the refrigerator. The Family Hub refrigerator, also integrated with AI, recognizes the voices of different family members and provides each of them with a personalized daily schedule.
Moving forward, Samsung will continue to remain focused on holistically integrating AI into a connected setting, such as the home or the office, in contrast to other players primarily pursuing implementation of AI on a few devices and services. In the following months, Samsung will integrate not only Samsung devices, but also IoT devices and sensors developed by external partners into the SmartThings eco-system, allowing a single SmartThings app to control everything. Furthermore, Samsung also plans to integrate AI into all its connected devices by 2020.
In the coming years, many IoT devices with AI support will generate a vast array of usage patterns and scenarios. How AI-enabled devices learn and analyze complex usage patterns and provide consumers with the most optimized options will be critical to the success of AI technology for the near future. In other words, the success of AI will boil down to how well the devices understand the users.
Therefore, Samsung’s perspective on AI is to build an ecosystem that is user-centric rather than device-centric. To pursue that goal, we will start by building an AI platform under a common architecture that will not only scale quickly, but also provide the deepest understanding of usage context and behaviors, making AI more relevant and useful.
For the past decades, Samsung successfully introduced products and innovations by researching the lifestyle and behavior of global consumers. Paying respect to our heritage of user-centric product development, Samsung will begin an exciting journey open to boundless possibilities in new user experiences by integrating AI into the open IoT ecosystem it is currently developing. This journey will certainly be fascinating for us here at Samsung, but even more so for consumers, as Samsung takes major steps forward to bring consumers’ hopes and expectations to life.
Dr. Larry Heck is the senior vice president of Samsung Research America (SRA).