Samsung has opened a new artificial intelligence (AI) research centre in Cambridge as it looks to “strengthen” the company’s AI capabilities.
The Samsung AI Centre will be chaired by Professor Andrew Blake, formerly of Microsoft Research Cambridge laboratory and the Alan Turing Institute and a leading figure in the industry.
The Korean technology giant already has its own AI-powered virtual assistant – Bixby – but also has a long-term plan to connect all of its devices and appliances to the internet as part of an Internet of Things ecosystem where devices can communicate with one another.
Prime Minister Theresa May said the centre was a sign of the UK’s status as a market leader in AI.
“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,” she said.
“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 tech giant’s executive vice president Seunghwan Cho 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.
“We enable a physical connection between people and information, finding new ways of working together to develop more human-centred technology that serves the needs of users first.”
Samsung said the centre would help expand its research and development workforce in the UK from 250 to 400 in the near future, and also plans to open other AI centres around the world.
Digital Secretary Matt Hancock voiced his support for the new facility.
“Samsung’s decision to build a new artificial intelligence research centre in the UK, coming the month after our AI Sector deal and the day after the Prime Minister’s strong endorsement of AI in the NHS, is a huge endorsement of Britain’s creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit,” he said.
“Through our industrial strategy we’re working with industry to invest almost £1 billion to make the UK a world leader in artificial intelligence and help us to seize all the opportunities this technology brings.”