Samsung Electronics announced on June 14 that it created a fund to invest in start-ups related to artificial intelligence (AI).
It was a move to secure talented manpower and technology in AI, which vice chairman Lee Jae-yong mentioned as a new growth engine, and the recently appointed chief innovation officer (CIO), David Eun of Samsung NEXT, is known to take the lead.
Industry sources said that Samsung NEXT, Samsung Electronics' innovative organization based in Silicon Valley in the US, launched NEXT Q Fund, which aims to invest in start-ups with advanced AI technology.
NEXT Q Fund, a venture fund, will provide support between venture companies and research and development (R & D) personnel as well as direct funding for AI start-ups.
The fund will invest in research on AI technology, such as simulation learning, intuitive physics, robot control, human-computer interaction, meta-learning and autonomous navigation. It will also invest in developing new start-ups.
Those who are involved in the fund's management are Professor David Duvenaud of the Vector Institute, a world-class expert in deep learning, and Professor Olga Russakovsky of Princeton University, who is developing AI technology with visual perception.
The industry sees this recent move of Samsung as a step toward “finding future food sources”.
In fact, Samsung Electronics recently established global AI research centers in five countries including Korea, the US, Britain, Canada, and Russia, and is expected to open an AI center in France in the near future.
Earlier this month, Samsung appointed Sebastian Seung, professor of Princeton University, and Daniel Lee, professor of Pennsylvania University, as vice presidents. Both are globally renowned experts in the field of AI.
Samsung also appointed David Eun, CEO of Samsung NEXT, as chief innovation officer (CIO) who will oversee innovation. It was the first time that Samsung Electronics has created a CIO position.