Samsung Group has revealed a grandiose plan to invest an amount of $22 billion in some of the emerging fields such as artificial intelligence over the future three year.
The effort will be driven primarily by the Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. arm, which makes its popular and the most prominent mobile devices. Last quarter, the handset maker saw profits decline for the first time in nearly two years due to stagnating smartphone sales. Investing more in emerging technologies could help Samsung generate new growth in the long term.
As a plan, the company intends to increase the number of researchers which is working at its worldwide AI centers to 1,000. Another goal of the push is to help Samsung “become a leader in electronics components for future cars such as system-on-chips for autonomous driving.” The two objectives are closely related given that the chips in a self-driving car need to be optimized for the software running on top, which by default includes AI elements.
Having more AI talent to draw upon should be useful for Samsung in other areas well. For starters, it could boost the company’s mobile chip business, which recently unveiled a chip with dedicated deep learning capabilities. There’s also been speculation that Samsung might follow in the footsteps of Apple Inc. and add deep learning-optimized silicon to its own mobile devices.
Just apart from AI and autonomous driving, Samsung is also planning to invest in technologies for the high-speed 5G carrier networks that are being built across the world. Lastly, the company will bolster its biopharmaceuticals group by doubling down on the development of new medical products.
The initiative builds on Samsung’s existing investment plans for emerging technology segments. Two months ago, its NEXT startup accelerator launched a new fund specifically focused on backing teams building AI solutions. Earlier, the company set aside $300 million for autonomous driving.
The planned $22 billion investment is part of total $161 billion in total that Samsung intends to sink into growing its operations by the end of 2021.
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