Samsung Artificial Intelligence (AI) Forum 2018

Experts, professors, students and world-renowned scholars gathered to give lectures, debate and share research achievements on the future of AI

Samsung Electronics held the second “Samsung AI Forum 2018” from September 12 and 13 to share the latest research trends in AI; and devise the direction for innovation and application by inviting great world-renowned scholars in the field of AI.

The first day of the two-day Samsung AI Forum was held at the Samsung Electronics Seocho office organized by the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) and the second day was held at the Samsung Electronics Seoul R&D Campus, attended by around 1,500 experts, professors, and students.

World-renowned scholars made in-depth thematic presentations on AI, while university students presented their research results and hear the advice of experts as part of research exchange activities.

The first day started off with lectures by the world’s leading minds in the field of deep learning, Professor Yann LeCun of the New York University and Professor Yoshua Bengio of the Montreal University. Their lectures were followed by presentations by Professor Joel Pineau of the McGill University, Professor Aaron Courville of the Montreal University, and Professor Eunho Yang of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) on self-supervised learning, deep reinforcement learning, cutting-edge AI technologies, and the future direction of the AI field.

"I expect our efforts made for technological innovation in AI to solve problems of humanity and contribute to making the world better. It is my hope that the forum will provide the opportunity to confirm the potential of AI technology with the presence of world-renowned AI innovators and to prepare the base for future cooperation,” said Kinam Kim, President and CEO of Samsung Electronics, in his opening speech.

LeCun, who gave the first lecture, spoke on the theme of self-supervised learning. He emphasized that modeling of the real complex world is necessary to ultimately develop AI that is capable of functioning at the human level. For this, he proposed ‘Self-Supervised Learning’ represents the future of AI.

Bengio, who participated in the forum for the second time following last year, delivered a lecture on the theme of “Optimization and generalization effects of Stochastic Gradient Descent (SGD) in deep nets.” He presented his detailed study results on how learning techniques based on SGD simultaneously impact on both optimization and generalization.

* Stochastic Gradient Descent (SGD) is one of the AI learning and training methods.

On the second day of the forum, Professor Barry Smyth of the University College Dublin, Professor Yiannis Demiris of the Imperial College London, and Professor Wei Gu-Yeon of the Harvard University, gave presentations on the themes of ‘Language & Inference’ and ‘Vision, Robotics & On-device AI’.


▲ Opening speech addressed by Hyun-suk Kim, President and Head of Samsung Research, the advanced R&D arm of Samsung Electronics’ device business

“It is my hope this will be an important time to ponder in depth the future prospects of and latest technologies in the rapidly evolving AI field,” said Hyun-suk Kim, President and Head of Samsung Research, the advanced R&D arm of Samsung Electronics’ device business, in his opening speech. “It would be nice if the insights gained through this forum would provide the base for creating a world that humanity dreams of.”


▲ Professor Cynthia Breazeal (left); and Sebastian Seung, Executive Vice President of Samsung Research (right)

Sebastian Seung, Executive Vice President of Samsung Research and a leading authority in neuroscience-based AI technologies, delivered the keynote speech on ‘The Computer and the Brain: a Contemporary Perspective.’ Seung also introduced a new research methodology for the merger of neural networks research and AI, as well as results of studies carried out using artificial neural networks to understand the human brain structure.

Seung’s speech was followed by a speech from Professor Cynthia Breazeal of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on the theme of ‘Living and Flourishing with Social Robots.’ Breazeal, as an expert in robot design, explained challenges to overcome in order to successfully create socially and emotionally intelligent robots in the real world and what efforts must be made to this end.

Alongside the lectures, the second day of the forum also had an awards ceremony for the winners of the ‘Samsung AI Challenge.’


▲Samsung AI Challenge Award Ceremony.

The Challenge was held for the first time this year, to discover excellent ideas and use cases using AI. It was comprised of two events ‘AI Hackathon,’ during which participants showcased their ideas of AI and implemented their thoughts using their AI technologies; and ‘Data Challenge,’ during which the participants competed on the ability to creatively solve numerous data problems on a particular theme. Participants that passed through the online preliminaries since July, competed the final round on September 8.

Last August, Samsung selected AI as one of four major future growth businesses and has largely reinforced the research capability for it to secure global top leadership in the field. For this, Samsung Electronics plans to continue its advanced research on AI and secure excellent workforce in the field.