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South Korean conglomerate opens three new AI research centres

South Korean multinational conglomerate Samsung has announced its intentions to open three new AI research centres. It officially announced its expansion plans via a statement - and disclosed that the new AI research facilities will be opened in the UK, Canada and Russia to add to the AI centres it already has in South Korea and the United States.

It has been claimed that Samsung's primary objective behind the AI expansion is to strengthen the capabilities of its Bixby assistant as the momentum towards the development of voice recognition continues to gather pace.

In addition to this, it has been disclosed that researchers at the new hubs which are located in Moscow, Toronto and Cambridge will specifically focus on a wide and diverse range of development areas such as core AI technologies, algorithms and advanced capabilities. Samsung said the location of the new centres will allow them to engage in collaboration with a number of top AI experts and academics to bolster its efforts.

The Head of Samsung's new Cambridge centre, Andrew Blake, expressed his excitement at the prospect of developing core AI technologies that can potential transform human lives.

He said, "The research we're going to conduct at the facility will help us to better understand human behaviour, while exploring areas like emotion recognition, and further expand the boundaries of user-centric communication".

The facilities add to Samsung AI centres opened in Seoul, South Korea in November 2017 and Silicon Valley, US in January 2018. The company said the three new sites are part of an effort grow its total number of AI research staff to 1,000 globally by 2020.

Samsung's decision to invest heavily in AI push comes on the back of the company's aims to integrate the technology across all of its product lines - including TVs and home appliances - via the Bixby personal assistant by 2020.

Bixby made its debut on the Galaxy S8 in March 2017 as Samsung's answer to smart assistants from Apple, Google and Amazon. In October, Samsung promised an update would deliver a "fundamental leap forward for digital assistants" by providing enhanced natural language capabilities, ubiquitous control across connected devices and an open ecosystem for developers.