Samsung Invests Big Money in AI Amid Smartphone Security Issues

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the wave of the future and Samsung knows it. The South Korean conglomerate announced Aug. 8 that it plans to invest more than $22 billion (25 trillion Korean won) over a three-year period to expand AI and additional technological research.
In an effort to fuel growth through 2020, Samsung states it will also funnel the majority of funds into Samsung Electronics with a focus on auto technology and fifth-generation (5G) cellular technology, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported. The latest announcement brings the company’s total technology investment to about $161 billion, or 180 trillion won. Samsung previously stated funds will go toward capital expenditures and research and development regarding its semiconductors and displays businesses.

“The company plans to build an internal team of at least 1,000 AI-dedicated engineers and researchers by 2020, with new hires and worker reassignments” at the newly-opened centers in Cambridge, U.K., Toronto and Moscow, WSJ states. “By that year, Samsung wants to put AI features and internet connectivity into all its products.”

In the meantime, Samsung Electronics researchers are busy addressing a security issue with the Galaxy S7 smartphone involving a microchip flaw that enables hackers to spy on users. Researcher Michael Schwarz told CNBC that “potentially hundreds of millions of phones” are affected by vulnerabilities known as Meltdown and Spectre, which can reveal passwords and banking information. Samsung continues to fight against the problem, having recently released its second update in July to prevent breaches. 

—Andrew Michaels, editorial associate

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