Samsung opens AI Lab in Montreal in partnership with local research centre

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Samsung recently moved into an Artificial Intelligence (AI) lab in Montreal in a partnership with Mila, a research centre, in order to help facilitate fundamental research that will advance Artificial Intelligence technology

The facility is named the ‘Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) Artificial Intelligence Lab Montreal,’ and will be led by Simon Lacoste-Julien, a professor at the Université de Montréal. Predominantly, the centre will conduct research on voice recognition, machine translation and natural language understanding.

Lacoste-Julien told MobileSyrup that the facility will work on “developing new algorithms to be applied on structured data such as speech recognition and machine translation.”

Natural language understanding

He said that the facility will also work to develop research behind AI such as ‘natural language understanding.’ This form of AI works to develop the capability of machines to further understand the meaning of a text.

Lacoste-Julien explained that “natural language understanding means that a computer can read standard text and be able to understand the context.”

He gave an example of a computer reading a press release, and being able to fully understand the document. The computer will be able to understand the main people the press release refers to, what they’re doing, and other points in the document.

Open science model

The facility follows an open science model, which means that all of the research conducted in the facility will be available publicly through accessible journals.

“We will also be collaborating openly. Things are not done behind closed doors where nobody knows what we’re doing,” he said.

He noted that articles published in Nature, a British research journal, are only accessible to users who pay to view the articles. He said that models like these are problematic for people who do not have the resources to access these articles.

The SAIT lab is a part of an on-going collaboration, as Samsung has sponsored research at Mila since 2014. Samsung plans to have around twenty researchers based in Montreal within five years.

The lab is working with world-class researchers who are interested in collaborating with Mila’s ecosystem in order to further the understanding of the fundamental principles of machine learning.