Samsung prepares for AI development while wooing scientists

South Korean tech giant Samsung could be pushing forward with ambitious plans to place artificial intelligence at the center of its businesses.

Samsung Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee is meeting with top scientists specializing in artificial intelligence. File Photo by Yonhap

Samsung Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee met with Canadian computer scientist Yoshua Bengio and Sebastian Seung, a professor of neuroscience at Princeton University, in Seoul on Wednesday, possibly to discuss company-wide future strategy, MoneyToday reported.

“Let us break the limits of thinking and take advantage of the future so that we can realize a bigger dream,” Lee said, according to the report.

Lee may be recruiting AI gurus globally as he seeks a competitive advantage for Samsung in the competitive field. Seung is serving as a chief research scientist at Samsung, the second-largest tech company in the world after Apple.

Samsung is competing against U.S. firms like Google, which is opening a regional center for its cloud services in Seoul, the firm said Wednesday at a tech event in Korea.

Google Cloud, which hosts an AI platform as part of its services, is opening its eighth office in Asia in Seoul.

On Wednesday, Lee Ji-young, general manager of Google Cloud Korea, said the company’s cloud services would have a positive impact on the Korean economy, including the creation of 15,000 jobs directly related to cloud activity and 35,000 additional jobs. Lee was quoting a report from Boston Consulting Group, according to MoneyToday.

The South Korean government has been urged to focus on developing AI by leading business executives, including Masayoshi Son, chairman of Japan’s SoftBank.

The Japanese firm reported an $8.9 billion loss on Wednesday, owing to setbacks with one of its largest portfolio companies, WeWork, Forbes reported.

SoftBank also had to extend a lifeline of $10 billion to WeWork to save the office-sharing startup from collapse, according to the report.

ByElizabeth Shim