LG Partners With Element AI to Develop Smart Home Upgrades

The electronics retailer will tap Element AI's expertise to enhance IoT home devices and let consumers "live smarter."

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Need to Know

  • LG has partnered with Element AI to research and develop advanced AI technologies to be used in LG’s home appliances and services.
  • The partnership will “serve as a compass to guide the AI industry” when it comes to applying AI features within products found in the home.
  • The new deal was announced at CES, where LG also unveiled advances to its ThinQ AI system found in its new line of 8K televisions as well as an upgraded IoT monitoring dashboard.
  • LG is the second-largest TV manufacturer in the world, trailing only Samsung.

Analysis

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is a major event featuring tech announcements and partnerships, and one of the latest involves South Korean electronics company LG and Canadian AI-as-a-service firm Element AI.

The two companies have formed a “strategic partnership” that will see Element AI research and develop AI strategies to be used in LG’s home appliances and services. The goal is to create products that will allow LG customers to “live smarter.” LG is likely looking to lean heavily on the experience of Element AI co-founder Yoshua Bengio, one of the world’s leading experts on deep learning.

No exact details were shared regarding specific product announcements or rollouts where Element AI may help LG, but in the past, the Montreal AI company has worked in finance, logistics, insurance and more.

“We need the right direction to offer better value to consumers with AI technology,” said I.P. Park, LG’s CTO. “In cooperation with Element AI, we will lead the development of AI in a systematic way.”

Element AI CEO Jean-Francois Gagne added “I am so pleased to join the AI journey with LG Electronics. As trailblazers of the AI technology sector, LG and Element AI will create technology that puts consumer experience first.”

While not exactly clear where Element AI will first begin work with LG, the electronics company also debuted brand-new out new AI features at CES. A suite of new 8K TVs feature the new (Alpha) 9 Gen 3 AI Processor, and through deep learning technology, the TV’s picture and sound quality is reported to have greatly improved.

The new AI Picture Pro feature can recognize faces and text on-screen, sharpening each to produce more natural skin tones and produce more readable characters. In addition, a new Auto Genre Selection recognizes the type of content being viewed—movie, sports, standard or animation—and adjusts to the correct picture settings.

AI Sound Pro analyzes content and deploys a similar feature by classifying whatever is on-screen into five categories: music, movies, sports, drama or news. Spoken words can be isolated and have their volume increased, or background noises can be increased and tweaked in a 5.1 surround sound setting.

Finally, compatible smart home devices can be controlled from LG’s Home Dashboard, and voice control can adjust settings or access content in a seamless manner.

While the new AI partnership has just been announced, it is likely that Element AI will work on features similar to AI Sound and Picture Pro as LG looks for new ways to bring deep learning services to the TV market. As more devices become IoT-compatible, LG will also look to expand its dashboard and bring more products into its connected ecosystem.

Element AI has backgrounds in several different verticals, so working with LG is a natural fit. The AI firm recently launched Knowledge Scout, a product that manages data sets for OEMs in various industries. Beyond that, named partnerships for Element AI have been rare—the company has worked with insurance company Gore Mutual, Japanese automotive company Aisin, the National Bank of Canada, and HSBC.

“We want to be a positive contributor for a smooth transition to a more positive future,” Gagne told Digital back in 2018 as he explained Element AI’s implementation strategy. “A transition always involves friction and distortion, and this is why we’re so proactive on different levels to motivate the different other actors and communities to rally and actually do something about these frictions because they’re inevitable.”

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