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May 27, 2019

Samsung scouts AI startups in Paris

PUBLISHED : March 25, 2019 - 13:59

UPDATED : March 25, 2019 - 13:59

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Tech giant Samsung Electronics is moving at full throttle to attract seasoned researchers and experts in artificial intelligence in order to run ahead in the ongoing race with other global tech firms, such as Google, Facebook and Apple.

The latest destination for the firm’s quest to find talents is Paris where it has planned to open an AI lab since last year.


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According to sources on March 25, Samsung recently allocated some 30 AI experts at its Paris office to proceed with research and development projects.

The lab, which will be run on a relatively smaller scale compared to its other global AI centers -- in London, Toronto, and Montreal -- is expected to start work soon, and the firm is looking for partners to jointly develop new technologies.

Samsung Chief Strategy Officer Sohn Young-kwon, who is in charge of seeking the firm’s future growth engines, is scheduled to visit the Paris office in May this year to review planned projects under the new AI lab, and meet local startups in the segment for potential mergers and acquisitions.

“Companies that could create synergies with Samsung’s AI lab are being identified for possible M&As,” local news outlet Maeil Business News reported, citing an anonymous industry source.

Last year, Samsung invested more than $200 million in 75 startups in different segments through its venture investment units including Samsung Strategy & Innovation Center, Samsung Catalyst Fund, Samsung NEXT, Samsung Ventures and Samsung Research, according to the tech firm.

The company has so far invested in 13 AI startups, including Viv Labs, founded by the creators of Siri, the AI assistant for Apple’s iPhones, in 2016, and AI search engine startup Kngine in 2018.

At a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in March last year, the CSO announced a plan to launch the AI lab in Paris.

In recent years, the European city has become a hot spot with global tech giants, including Microsoft, and IBM, running their AI centers there.

Sohn will participate in the Viva Technology startup conference, to be held on May 16-18 in Paris, to deliver a speech.

Samsung aims to have all its electronic and mobile products fitted with AI technology by 2020.

By Kim Young-won (wone0102@heraldcorp.com)

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