LG sets up AI lab in Toronto

The consumer electronics company will be exploring ways to improve a customer's experience with its products.

Yet another global company has looked to the Canadian market to set up an artificial intelligence research lab, as LG revealed details of a partnership with the University of Toronto this week.

As part of the five-year partnership, the consumer electronics and appliance company will open a lab where its own AI-focused R&D teams in Canada and the U.S. can work with computer science researchers from U of T, which is quickly becoming one of North America’s leading academic institutions in the field.

LG already has teams exploring AI at its headquarters in Seoul and in facilities in Silicon Valley.

The lab’s work in Toronto will be focused on solving more “fundamental” questions around deep learning and its applications, according to I.P. Park, president and chief technology officer of LG Electronics, during an event at the university. David Duvenaud, assistant professor in the department of computer science at U of T and one of the researchers who will be working with LG, said one area he will be exploring is applying AI to a PID controller, a device that regulates things like speed, temperature, flow and pressure of automated processes in machines and appliances, such as washing machines.

Park described the company’s AI strategy as having three pillars: the ability to evolve with time so products can more effectively meet customer specific needs; integrate AI into diverse touchpoints so users can have a consistent experience across the entire product portfolio; and openness, working with partners “to provide the best AI experience for LG customers.”

LG said in a release that it intends to collaborate with and invest in North American start-ups to complement its work at the research lab, but did not release more details.