Samsung Electronics is establishing another artificial intelligence (AI) centre in Montreal, the second biggest city in Canada and home to one of the world’s fastest growing AI communities.
This announcement complements earlier news of multiple AI centres launched in North America and continues Samsung’s efforts in AI that include the development of Samsung’s virtual assistant, Bixby. The centre is the fourth Samsung AI Centre to be established in North America following the centres launched in Silicon Valley, New York and Toronto.
The opening of the AI centre in Montreal will allow Samsung to expand its outpost for industry collaboration and talent recruitment in a major AI hub in Canada, dedicated to research and development of core AI technologies that entail machine learning, language, vision and other multi-modal interactions.
At the opening event, there were about 100 guests in attendance including Marc Garneau, Canada’s Minister of Transportation;Philippe Tomlinson, mayor of Outremont and member of Montreal’s Development Commission; Seunghwan Cho, Executive Vice President of Samsung Research; Geunbae Lee, Head of Samsung AI Centre in Seoul and Larry Heck, Head of AI Centres for Samsung Research America.
“By leveraging the power of AI in Samsung’s products and services, we must focus on creating new values, never seen nor experienced before,” said Seunghwan Cho. “To do this, seven Global AI Centres, including the Montreal AI Centre, will play a pivotal role.”
During the event, Samsung presented its future vision for AI as it aims to develop a highly personalized multi-device platform that empowers people to accomplish more in their lives. By providing multiple touchpoints where a user can interact with AI, not only through voice, Samsung’s multi-modal interaction platform (voice, vision, screen, touch) will make experiences more relevant and personal in the future.
“One key element that will move AI to being more widely adopted is multi-device systems—i.e., a variety of AI-enabled devices that communicate seamlessly with each other,” said Dr. Heck. “Samsung is uniquely positioned to be a leader in this regard. It’s not just how each device uses AI, it’s how they use it together.”
Key contributing factors for the location include the availability of key AI talent, including leading AI researchers at McGill University and the University of Montreal who have had longstanding relationships with Samsung. Greater Montreal has emerged as a powerhouse in AI research, housing 250 researchers and 9000 university students in related programs. Establishing an AI Centre in Greater Montreal also enables Samsung to better collaborate with regional start-ups and expand the current ecosystem.
“This new research Centre will help make artificial intelligence more accessible right here in Montreal. It will open the door for collaboration and grow opportunities for our universities and our businesses,” said Minister Garneau.
The mayor of Montreal also celebrated the news. “Montreal is a vibrant and creative city with well-known academic institutions and some of the highest standards in quality of life allowing us to attract some of the best talents around the world. Samsung’s AI Center reinforces Montreal’s unique position and reputation as a global leader in the field of artificial intelligence. Their work with faculties, students, and the broader academic community highlights the city’s international reach and the strengths of a business ecosystem that is firmly focused on collaboration, research and innovation,” said Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montreal International.
Dr. Gregory Dudek, of the McGill University School of Computer Science and an expert in a wide range of AI technologies from machine learning to human-robot interactions, will lead the Montreal AI Centre. “We are excited to open a new Samsung AI Centre in Montreal, which will conduct research in machine learning and robotics enabled multi-modal interactions,” said Dr. Dudek. “As the second AI research facility in Canada, we plan to research in tandem with the Toronto AI Centre, established in May, and leverage the tremendous AI talent in Montreal. We are also looking forward to collaborating with the top universities and academic institutions in the region.”
Earlier this year, Samsung has announced plans to expand its advanced AI research capabilities to 1,000 by 2020 when all Samsung products and services are expected to be AI enabled. The global AI Centres, which are also located in Korea, Russia, and the U.K, will contribute to Samsung’s AI research with their unique regional strengths, and Samsung plans to expand its AI research centres to other technology and talent-rich areas.