Samsung Opens AI Research Centre in UK

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The past five years have seen an enormous push for not only a multitude of connected technologies, particularly in fields of AI and Machine Learning, seeking to develop technology into a more intelligent enabler of human work. Alongside the rapid pace of these fields, growing emphasis is being placed on “readiness”, essentially how prepared countries are to implement emerging tech, in which the United Kingdom frequently ranks very respectably. UK-based research centres are large contributors to these positive results, and recent news suggesting this trend is set to continue.

Towards the end of the second quarter of 2018, Korean technology giant Samsung announced they would be opening a new AI research centre in Cambridge, UK. Opened almost immediately and is already fully functioning, the centre is led by Andrew Blake, former director of Microsoft’s Cambridge Laboratory and esteemed AI researcher. According to Blake, the main focus of Samsung’s centre will be to “better understand human behaviour” as well as improve technologies around emotion recognition and user-centric communication.

Responding to the news, Prime Minister Theresa May comments on the launch: “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.” Similarly, Digital Secretary Matt Hancock explains his view on the matter: “Samsung’s decision to build a new artificial intelligence research centre in the UK, is a huge endorsement of Britain’s creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit.”

Indeed, Samsung’s decision shows how despite the unstable business mentality of the moment brought on by Brexit, this does not necessarily mean a slowdown of innovation nor foreign investment into the UK. It is a sign that Britain remains an attractive destination for companies seeking to explore and develop new technologies, as well as source and nurture talent.

It is also worthy to note that in an unrelated investment, Google recently purchased DeepMind, a company specialising in AI, similarly based in Cambridge. This further goes to prove how large multinational corporations continue to see a great amount of potential in the scientific atmosphere of Cambridge, ultimately extending to the economy and skill level of the whole country.

Author: Nadja Kaukiainen

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