Artificial intelligence, 5G, and autonomous driving are all on Samsung’s list to receive investment funds.
Samsung Group announced last week that it plans to invest $22 billion in emerging technology fields over the next three years. The investments will be applied to innovations related to artificial intelligence, mobility, 5G networks, autonomous driving, and biopharmaceuticals.
The company’s Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. arm which produces the popular Samsung mobile phone devices, will drive the investment initiative. Part of the plan includes increasing the number of researchers who are working at the company’s AI centers around the world to 1000. Additionally, Samsung aims to “become a leader in electronics components for future cars such as system-on-chips for autonomous driving.” This makes sense considering the fact that the chips in autonomous vehicles must be software optimized which includes elements of artificial intelligence.
Samsung saw profits decline during last quarter for the first time in the past two years due to smartphone sales decreasing and weakness with its core semiconductor business. Samsung sees the potential to generate new business and boost growth substantially as it launches off into emerging technologies, specifically boosting artificial intelligence work.
Artificial intelligence is not just a field to itself within Samsung, it also could be an energetic boost to other areas in the mobile phone maker’s domain. For example, the mobile chip arm of the company unveiled a chip that possesses deep learning capabilities. Further, Samsung may add deep learning silicon to its mobile devices just as Apple as done to some of its phones.
Samsung said in the announcement that the decision followed “many months of deliberations and review” by the company’s executives. The statement went on to say, “Samsung has seen strong growth from both its contract manufacturing and biosimilar businesses. It will continue to invest heavily in the businesses, including developing and manufacturing biosimilars.”
The $22 billion investment in emerging technologies is part of a much bigger 180 trillion won plan over the next three years to create up to 20,000 jobs and stabilize new streams of revenue. This is the first sign of progress forward since the company’s heir Jay Y. Lee was released from jail in February following a bribery conviction that he is currently appealing.
After the announcement, shares in Samsung Electronics were mildly changed while shares in drugmaker Samsung BioLogics rose to 7 percent and shares in Samsung SDS, the IT services affiliate, rose by almost 6 percent.