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Samsung Research America to establish AI lab in Toronto

Joins UK and Russia as part of a network of global AI centres


Hyun-suk Kim, President and Head of Samsung Research (front row, third from left), and Dr. Sven Dickinson, Head of Samsung’s new, Toronto-based AI Centre (front row, far right), pose for a photo with guests at the facility’s opening ceremony on May 24.

Samsung Research America (SRA) plans on establishing a state-of-the-art artificial intelligence (AI) centre in Toronto, as part of a new venture to tap into and contribute to the flourishing AI industry growing in Canada’s largest city.

The opening of the Toronto AI Centre comes on the heels of the company’s global announcement of two additional and newly established AI Centres in Cambridge, UK and Moscow, Russia.  The Toronto Centre will work in partnership with the company’s Silicon Valley team to pioneer AI research and development for the region.

Located in Toronto’s downtown core at MaRS Discovery District, the new Samsung AI Centre will contribute to building the connected future by accelerating the adoption of intelligence on multiple devices ranging from household appliances to cars. The Toronto AI Centre is a part of a network of research Centres dedicated to research and development in the field of AI. The Centre is the second Samsung AI Centre to be established in North America, with the other in Mountain View, California. The North America AI Centres are led by senior vice president, Dr. Larry Heck, a renowned expert in machine learning for spoken and text language processing, who also co-leads the expansion of Samsung’s AI Centres around the globe.

Toronto is an epi-centre of machine learning & AI research

“Toronto and the GTA are epi-centres of machine learning and one of the world’s foremost hubs for AI research and development. Home to not only world-class talent, but also some of the most innovative start-ups in the artificial intelligence field,” said Dr. Larry Heck, Co-Head of Global Artificial Intelligence Research. “We are looking forward to contributing to this vibrant AI community and to help push the field forward as we move towards our goal of making all Samsung connected devices intelligent by 2020.”

With a rich history in innovation and discovery, Toronto serves as an ideal place for research and development for speech recognition, where machine-learning technology was applied many years before it was widely applied to other fields. The vision is that the Samsung AI Centre will now serve an important role in the advancement of AI with a focus on language understanding and computer vision technologies that will ultimately reduce the friction between the user and the device/service, whether it be mobile phones, TVs, appliances, or cars.

The Toronto centre will be led by Dr. Sven Dickinson, newly appointed as the head of the Toronto lab, professor on leave and past chair of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. Dr. Dickinson is an expert in computer vision technologies, especially in the field of object recognition. He will play an integral part in Samsung’s research of core AI technologies that entail language, vision and other multi-modal interactions.