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Samsung opens new AI centre in Cambridge

By Mike Scialom

A Samsung site abroad. The company is expanding its AI research capabilities
A Samsung site abroad. The company is expanding its AI research capabilities

R&D success enhances city's position on global stage

Cambridge has the raw brain power to ensure it is the go-to ecosystem for AI research
Cambridge has the raw brain power to ensure it is the go-to ecosystem for AI research

As part of a worldwide expansion of its R&D programme, Samsung Research yesterday (Tuesday) announced plans to create new hubs in Cambridge, Toronto and Moscow “to strengthen the company’s AI capabilities and explore the potential of user-centric AI”.

The new additions bring the consumer electronics firm’s total number of centres to five, with Seoul and Silicon Valley sites having opened last year.

The development of AI technologies is a key priority for the UK government, as highlighted by the recently announced AI sector deal.

Prime Minister Theresa May said: “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.

Prime Minister Theresa May has welcomed the investment
Prime Minister Theresa May has welcomed the investment

“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.”

The Samsung AI Centre, Cambridge (SAIC-Cambridge) will be chaired by Professor Andrew Blake, a pioneer in the development of the theory and algorithms that can make it possible for computers to behave as seeing machines, a former director of Microsoft’s Cambridge Laboratory and research director of the Alan Turing Institute.

Prof Blake said: “This new centre signifies Samsung’s commitment to the advancement of AI. The centre’s research will help us to better understand human behaviour, exploring areas like emotion recognition, and further expand the boundaries of user-centric communication to develop AI technologies that ultimately improve people’s lives.”

Seunghwan Cho, executive vice president, Samsung Electronics, said: “This new artificial intelligence research centre in Cambridge is one of the key milestones in the long-term strategy of the company. In this new world of connected devices and services based on AI, Samsung’s vision is to help people do their jobs and live their lives better.”

The Cambridge area is a global hub for machine learning and AI research and development.

“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 Centre 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.”

The ceremony – “a closed event to mark the opening”, according to a Samsung representative – was held at the Tamburlaine Hotel in Cambridge at 2pm yesterday.


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