Samsung opens huge AI centre in the UK

Korean technology giant Samsung has announced the opening of a huge new AI research in Cambridge, UK to capitalise on local talent.

Cambridge has gained international recognition as a hub of AI talent. Google’s acquisition of DeepMind, whose headquarters is based in the city, only helped to further boost this reputation.

“Today’s announcement by Samsung will create high-paying, high-skilled jobs and our modern Industrial Strategy will encourage further investment like this all around the country,” says Prime Minister Theresa May.

“It is a vote of confidence in the UK as a world leader in artificial intelligence, and the new AI research centre will benefit from the world-renowned talent and academic prowess of Cambridge.”

Opened today, the centre will be led by Andrew Blake — an esteemed AI researcher, and ex-director of Microsoft’s Cambridge Laboratory.

“This new centre signifies our commitment to the advancement of AI,” said Andrew 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.”

Blake will receive cooperation from other notable experts in the field; including Professor Maja Pantić from Imperial College London. Pantić has published more than 250 technical papers in the areas of machine analysis of facial expressions, machine analysis of human body gestures, audiovisual analysis of emotions and social signals, and human-centred machine interfaces.

Digital Secretary Matt Hancock comments: “Samsung’s decision to build a new artificial intelligence research centre in the UK, coming the month after our AI Sector deal and the day after the Prime Minister’s strong endorsement of AI in the NHS, is a huge endorsement of Britain’s creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit.”

“Through our Industrial Strategy, we’re working with industry to invest almost £1 billion to make the UK a world leader in artificial intelligence and help us to seize all the opportunities this technology brings.”

Naturally, Samsung believes the IoT will combine with AI to create masses of data about users and the world around us.

In a press release, the company wrote:

“In the coming years, Internet of Things (IoT) devices embedded with AI will generate a vast array of data that can provide fascinating insights about the lives of users, enabling them to take advantage of intelligent services optimized for their own personal preferences and behaviours.

How AI-enabled devices provide consumers with the most optimized options will be critical to the success of AI technology for the near future.

To provide a user-centric ecosystem, Samsung aims to build an AI platform under a common architecture that will not only scale quickly but also provide the deepest understanding of usage context and behaviours, making AI more relevant and useful.”

Samsung’s new Cambridge centre will be joined by further AI facilities in Canada and Russia in the days to come.

The facility in Toronto, Canada will open May 24th and will be led by Dr Larry Heck, Senior Vice President of Samsung Research America. Heck is an expert in virtual assistant technologies. Major universities in Canada will provide strategic cooperation.

A third centre in Moscow, Russia will open May 29th and plans to include leading AI experts such as Professor Dmitry Vetrov (Higher School of Economics) and Professor Victor Lempitsky (Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology) to lead Samsung’s research on AI algorithms.

“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 at the opening ceremony of the new AI Center in Cambridge.

"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.”

What are your thoughts on Samsung’s new AI centres? Let us know in the comments.

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