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Samsung moves its AI lab into Montreal’s Mila

May 03,2019
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Yoshua Bengio, a professor at the University of Montreal and founder of the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (Mila), delivers a welcome address at Mila on Thursday as Samsung Electronics moves its artificial intelligence lab. [SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS]
Samsung Electronics said Thursday it moved its artificial intelligence (AI) lab in Canada to a world-renowned institute.

By moving to the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (Mila), the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) AI Lab will have a chance to collaborate with leading deep learning experts, the Korean tech giant said.

The expanded AI lab will conduct research and development efforts for new deep learning algorithms and what is called on-device AI. When combined with machine learning and data processing in the cloud, on-device AI allows connected devices like smartphones and cars to be smarter and faster.

“SAIT will focus on researching AI to be applied to system semiconductors,” said Hwang Sung-woo, deputy head of SAIT, in a statement.

“We will strengthen our research into AI theories and next-generation deep learning algorithms as they are expected to thrive for the next 10 years.”

Founded by University of Montreal Professor Yoshua Bengio, Mila is one of the best deep learning research centers in the world and hires globally renowned AI experts. The Canadian institute has partnered with the University of Montreal and McGill University.

Samsung has been working with Bengio in researching deep learning algorithms since 2014 and published three papers for academic journals.

The world’s largest memory chip and smartphone maker appointed Simon Lacoste-Julien, a professor at Montreal University and fellow researcher at Mila, to head its expanded AI lab.

Samsung said Lacoste-Julien has a deep understanding of global research trends and possesses a large network of AI experts to lead the lab.

With the Thursday announcement, Samsung became the first Korean company to move into Mila. The electronics company said it will continue dispatching AI researchers to the Montreal lab to strengthen its competitiveness in the field.

Samsung has been actively trying to expand its non-memory chip and foundry businesses recently. The Korean electronics giant announced last week it will invest 133 trillion won ($114.2 billion) and hire 15,000 professional staff in its non-memory chip business by 2030 to become the world’s No. 1 company in the market.

On Wednesday, the company reported its worst earnings in more than two years in the first quarter due to falling memory chip prices.


BY KO JUN-TAE [ko.juntae@joongang.co.kr]