Airship

Samsung expands global AI efforts with three new centres in UK, Canada and Russia

Tim Maytom
Samsung Research's AI centre in Seoul, South Korea

Samsung Research, the R&D hub of Samsung Electronics, has announced plans to establish three new centres for artificial intelligence research around the world, strengthening its existing work in the area and tapping talent from a wider global pool.

Samsung already operates two such centres in Seoul and Silicon Valley, opened last November and January this year respectively. The new centres will be located in Cambridge, Toronto and Moscow, and will focus on strengthening the company's AI capabilities and exploring the potential of user-centric AI.

"Samsung has a long history of pursuing innovation and we are excited to be bringing that same passion and technology leadership to AI," said Hyun-suk Kim, president and head of Samsung Research. "With the new AI Centres and recruitment of leading experts in the field, our aim is to be a game changer for the AI industry."

The Cambridge centre, which was opened today, will be led by Andrew Blake, who previously served as director of Microsoft's Cambridge Laboratory. Blake is a pioneer in the development of computer vision, having worked on both the theoretical and practical side of this complex problem.

"This new Centre signifies our commitment to the advancement of AI," said Blake. "Our research will help us to better understand human behaviour while exploring areas like emotion recognition, and further expand the boundaries of user-centric communication to develop AI technologies that ultimately improve people's lives."

Samsung's Toronto centre will be led by Dr Larry Heck, senior vice president of Samsung Research America, while the Moscow centre will employ AI experts including Professor Dmitry Vetrov and Professor Victor Lempitsky. Toronto's research will focus on core AI technologies, partnering with labs in major Canadian universities, while the Russian centre will capitalise on local expertise in mathematics, physics and other fundamental sciences to lead research on AI algorithms.

So far, the most prominent AI deployment by Samsung has been Bixby, the firm's digital assistant. However, Bixby suffered from considerable teething problems, and has struggled to compete with more established smart assistants like Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant.