Samsung Taps Apple Siri Veteran to Lead North American AI Group | Tech News

Samsung Taps Apple Siri Veteran to Lead North American AI Group

Samsung Electronics Co. is combining two North American research centers focused on artificial intelligence technology and hiring an ex-Apple Inc. executive to run the new group, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

By:BLOOMBERG
| Updated on: Jun 12 2024, 18:15 IST
Samsung Taps Apple Siri Veteran to Lead North American AI Group
Samsung combines North American AI research centers, hires ex-Apple exec to lead new North America AI Center. (AFP)

Samsung Electronics Co. is combining two North American research centers focused on artificial intelligence technology and hiring an ex-Apple Inc. executive to run the new group, according to people with knowledge of the matter. 

The company made the announcement internally this week, around the same time Apple kicked off a much-anticipated expansion into AI, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the changes haven't been announced. Samsung is creating a new operation called the North America AI Center — combining its teams in Toronto and Mountain View, California.

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Samsung's research arm “centralized” the two centers to improve operations and increase efficiency, according to an internal memo that was viewed by Bloomberg. The company didn't specify what would happen to the two offices. 

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The move is the latest sign that the world's biggest technology companies are getting more aggressive in AI. For device makers like Samsung and Apple, such features are seen as a way to get consumers to upgrade their technology more frequently. 

Former Apple executive Murat Akbacak will head up the division. At the iPhone maker, Akbacak was “responsible for defining and executing the strategy for Siri, Apple's personal digital assistant, focusing on personalization, contextualization, and advancements in conversational and multimodal AI,” according to the memo.

Representatives for Samsung and Apple declined to comment.

A key aspect of Apple's AI announcement on Monday was making Siri more personalized and able to understand the context of requests. The company also unveiled features that help users organize their notifications across its iPhone, iPad and Mac operating systems — part of a system it calls Apple Intelligence. Earlier in his career, Akbacak was an AI researcher and worked on voice assistants at Microsoft Corp. 

Though Apple Intelligence uses OpenAI technology to power a chatbot, the majority of the features were designed in-house. Samsung, on the other hand, primarily uses Alphabet Inc.'s Google Gemini technology to support its AI capabilities.

Toronto has been a hotbed of AI research — and a source of talent for major tech companies. Technologies created in Canadian became part of Meta Platforms Inc.'s facial recognition algorithms, Google's Photos app and smartphone voice recognition.

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First Published Date: 12 Jun, 18:15 IST
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