LG Partners with University of Toronto to Open AI Lab

The time has come for another major tech company to set up an AI outpost in Canada.

LG is the latest to take advantage of the country’s burgeoning AI scene as it has announced a five-year multimillion-dollar research partnership with the University of Toronto (U of T) that will see it set up a research centre meant to collaborate with top AI researchers in the city.

The Seoul-based LG already has AI labs set up in its hometown as well as Silicon Valley, but it expects to use this new centre to solve more fundamental problems surrounding deep learning, according to the company itself. This makes sense, as that subsect of AI was pioneered by Geoffrey Hinton, a University of Toronto professor and chief scientific advisor to the Vector Institute.

“This kind of collaboration enables the joint production and sharing of knowledge, which is going to drive innovation and produce remarkable products and services,” said U of T President Meric Gertler. It will also generate answers to our collective challenges and, ultimately, enhance prosperity and social well-being.”

U of T has signed many collaborative agreements of this kind before, both with domestic and international companies, and the goal is not only to enable LG to expand their depth of AI understanding. Researchers at the university also stand to gain new opportunities from the partnership that will expand their current field of scope while also giving students more chances to interact with industry leaders.

“AI will ultimately touch everybody’s lives, transforming the way we live, work and play,” said LG Electronics president and CTO. I.P. Park. “Early implementations of AI in connected devices today are setting the stage for tomorrow’s smart cities, smart homes, smart businesses and smart devices, all with capabilities that no one has even dreamed of yet.”

Park and LG will look to explore three main pillars of AI. The first is to learn to evolve with time so that the more customers use LG products, the better they can meet specific needs. Second is to integrate AI into LG’s diverse touchpoints so a seamless and connected user experience between devices can be constructed. Third is openness, which will see LG do all they can to build the most holistic AI experience they can by leveraging the best partners, which ties directly into this partnership.

LG has also announced plans to complement the partnership by investing in North American startups, though no investments have been announced yet.

It’s almost becoming too much to list now, but LG is the latest large tech company to open an AI lab in Canada. Facebook, NVIDIA and Samsung have all recently sought out AI talent in the country.