Kim Hyun-suk, President of Samsung Electronics’ consumer electronics division, speaks during a press conference in Seoul, Thursday. [Photo provided by Samsung Electronics Co.]
Samsung Electronics Co. will recruit over 1,000 specialists and aggressively seek mergers and acquisitions at home and abroad to strengthen its artificial intelligence capabilities.
“We are looking into a number of candidates (for M&A) in the AI sector,” Kim Hyun-suk, head of Samsung Electronics’ consumer electronics division, said during a media event held in Seoul on Thursday.
“We will make aggressive overtures to promising startups either at home or abroad,” he said declining to give specific names.
The cash-rich Korean tech giant has been on an eager hunt for venture enterprises. It acquired a local voice-activated platform developer Fluenty Inc. in November last year and Silicon Valley-based AI platform provider Viv Labs October in 2016. Its shopping list also included U.S. IoT company Smart Things, Canada’s mobile cloud company PrinterOn, U.S. mobile payment firm LoopPay, U.S. cloud service provider Joyent, next-generation messaging Rich Communications Services (RCS) provider NewNet Communication Technologies of Canada, to name a few.
It is more urgent to secure talented specialists in the AI industry which is still in the fledgling stages with a limited number of AI specialists, Kim said. Samsung Electronics is on the lookout for talented AI engineers with hopes of drawing at least 1,000 on board, he added.
Samsung Electronics, which makes from components to finished home appliances, has widened voice-activated computing system to most of its lineup.
The first voice-activated speaker to come out in the second half would be as capable as AI assistant Bixby and IoT-connected appliances, Kim said.
Along with the new AI speaker, the company is also getting ready to introduce ‘Smart Things Hub’ that would allow its user to control not only its home appliance products but other devices such as lights and electric sensors with voice command in the second half of this year, Kim said.
The tech giant has been actively integrating its voice-recognition AI platform Bixby into its electronics products ranging from smartphones to refrigerators. And it aims to apply the AI technology to all its IoT products by 2020, said Kim.
Samsung Electronics held a media event on Thursday to introduce Samsung home IoT technology linked with AI assistant Bixby and unveiled its AI vision.
By Hwang Hyung-gyu and Cho Jeehyun
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