The Samsung AI Center, led by Larry Heck, is located near the DSA office, Samsung’s US semiconductors branch, and Samsung Strategy & Innovation Center. The offices opened in 2016 to become the firm’s hub for new strategies and technologies bracing for the “fourth industrial revolution.”
Larry Heck is a renowned figure in Silicon Valley, spending 27 years working with the world’s leading tech moguls on bringing forward the era of artificial intelligence.
After introducing AI services at Yahoo, Microsoft and Google, Heck joined Samsung in November 2017 to improve its fledgling AI platform Bixby, as the South Korean IT hardware manufacturer kick-started its drive for AI.
“Despite the last five to seven years of progress, we are still very early in this space,” said Heck, head of Samsung Research America based in Mountain View, California, in a meeting with the Korean press at Samsung’s Devices Solutions Americas office.
Among Samsung’s seven AI Centers across the globe, Heck’s center in Silicon Valley focuses on technologies that improve interactions between AI systems and human users.
“If you ask something that’s outside of what they understand, you will often hear responses like ‘I’m sorry I don’t understand’ or ‘I’m still learning.’ The issue with this is that the conversation at that point is over,” he continued.
Describing his role as thinking from the perspective of user’s trust, Heck explained that users wish to rely on a personal assistant on the premise that they will always be helpful to them.
As a solution, the Bixby research head has initiated what he called “user empowerment,” which highlights the importance of the influence that users have in building up personalized AI capabilities on the multiple devices they use.
For instance, a device would follow the user’s needs through multiple channels and not just voice, such as by being equipped with sensors that can detect and collect visual motions and receive direct-touch inputs.