Samsung is opening a new AI centre in Cambridge

Samsung has announced plans to open a new artificial intelligence research lab in Cambridge "to strengthen the company's AI capabilities and explore the potential of user-centric AI".

The Samsung AI Centre, Cambridge (SAIC-Cambridge) will be chaired by former director of Microsoft's Cambridge Laboratory, Professor Andrew Blake, and will help the UK become a world leader in advanced technologies and AI development.

"AI is being adopted in virtually every facet of our day-to-day lives and as a society, we are at the brink of realising near-exponential possibilities to make our lives easier through this powerful new technology," said Samsung. "Samsung is well-positioned to bring this innovative user-centric AI to market as it is uniquely capable of realising connected AI due to its diverse product portfolio and its scale."

The company added that it aims to expand its R&D workforce in the UK, including AI experts, from the current number of 250 to 400 in the future.

The UK government recently joined forces with the European, US and Japanese tech sector by pledging 1 billion to drive AI research in the UK. As part of the AI Sector Deal, 300 million of government spending will be coupled with 300 million in private investment, not to mention the 400 million of state funding previously announced.

This money will be spent on funding 1,000 PhDs related to AI by 2025 as well as the development of the Turing Fellowship programme, set up to grow research talent in the UK. The funds will also go towards training 8,000 specialist computer science teachers for secondary schools across the UK.

Earlier this year, a comprehensive report by a House of Lords Select Committee said the UK is in a "unique position" to help shape the development of AI on the world stage because it "contains leading AI companies, a dynamic academic research culture, and a vigorous startup ecosystem as well as a host of legal, ethical, financial and linguistic strengths. We should make the most of this environment, but it is essential that ethics take centre stage in AI's development and use."

The 13-member Committee, which included journalist Baroness Bakewell and the Lord Bishop of Oxford, was tasked with assessing the economic and social impact of artificial intelligence and, following a 10-month consultation, the panel proposed a set of principles that will be used to form the basis of a code of practice; something it hopes will be embraced internationally. You can read more about these principles here.

"This new artificial intelligence research centre in Cambridge is one of the key milestones in the long-term strategy of the company," said Seunghwan Cho, executive vice president of Samsung Electronics. "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."

Prime minister Theresa May added: "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. 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.