Samsung to compete with Google, Amazon on AI platforms

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Amid the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) technology, Samsung Electronics has made a strong effort to beef up its presence in the sector.

Since the Korean tech giant released its AI assistant Bixby last year, Samsung has applied the AI to its products ranging from the firm’s signature Galaxy S and Note phones to other home appliances.

Moreover, Samsung is taking further steps in AI as it already declared all of its devices will have AI features by 2020.

To pursue the ambitious 2020 plan, Samsung reportedly will not use AI platforms developed by other companies in its AI-assisted speaker scheduled to be rolled out later this year.

A Samsung official said it has not been long since the company began using the Bixby AI platform in earnest but it will continue strengthening its own AI platform.

“We have adopted Bixby into our products other than smartphones since early this year,” the official said. “It is our strategy to use Bixby in every Samsung device.”

This is a somewhat different move from the firm’s home appliance rival LG Electronics which has adopted AI platforms made by Google and Amazon. Though LG owns its own AI platform DeepThinQ, the company also uses the Clova AI platform, developed by local internet giant Naver.

In the AI platform market, Google and Amazon are market leaders with their AI platforms Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Industry watchers said Samsung made the decision to use only Bixby after more than six months of internal studies.

If Samsung can make the plan a reality, Samsung’s Bixby will become one of the major players in AI platforms as the company has shipped more than 500 million devices across the world.

Larry Heck, a renowned AI guru who works as a senior vice president of Samsung Research America, said Samsung is positioned to be a leader in the AI business.

“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,” Heck wrote in a contribution on the Samsung Newsroom website in January. “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 has not been shy about its desire to become the leader in the AI platform league. Last month, Samsung Research, the firm’s research and development (R&D) hub for AI technology, opened three new research centres in the U.K., Russia and Canada. It already has AI research labs in Korea and the U.S. With the five AI research centres, Samsung aims to secure 1,000 of the top workers in the sector by 2020.

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