LG chief outlines future for AI in CES keynote

Technology will only make people’s lives better if the industry can achieve true intelligence, said IP Park (pictured), president of LG Electronics, in the South Korean company’s first ever keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Park outlined the company’s vision for the future in this week’s keynote in Las Vegas. He outlined how the three key pillars of artificial intelligence – evolve, connect and open – could deliver a robust AI ecosystem with diverse products and services for the real world.

“Is technology making your life better?” Park asked. “Over the past 100 years, household appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines and vacuum cleaners have reduced time spent on housework by around 75 per cent, but the amount of cognitive labour involved has significantly increased. The answer lies in AI, but only if we can achieve true intelligence.”

A proponent of consumer-focused AI technology, LG has continued to advocate the beneficial role of AI in consumers’ lives. The keynote featured LG’s AI technologies implemented in daily-life scenarios to give the audience of more than 3000 a better understanding of how the company is working on transforming tomorrow. The LG Cloi GuideBot shared the spotlight with Park during the address.
Since its launch in 2017, the company’s AI brand LG Thinq has seen its portfolio grow rapidly to include air conditioners, washing machines, TVs, smartphones and robot vacuum cleaners. Park presented LG’s latest innovations in these appliances, which leveraged the power of AI – an AI chip for home appliances, a washing machine with reinforced learning, and self-healing machines that can detect and fix malfunctions automatically without interrupting operation.
“But I want to talk about more than just improvements,” Park said. “Our ambition is to go way beyond LG’s current role as a leading manufacturer of consumer electronics and to become a lifestyle innovator that serves a truly intelligent way of living.”
Park explained how the three key ideas – evolve, connect and open – will empower AI technology to transform every aspect of daily life. LG Thinq products will evolve over time by learning about the user, connect seamlessly with customers’ lives and open up an ecosystem of innovation made stronger by partnerships and cooperation, ultimately offering “a new and daring definition of better life”.

Park highlighted the importance of evolving intelligence in consumer electronics. For AI devices to go beyond simple voice recognition and automated task execution, they must be able to understand the purpose and intention behind each command. Such contextual understanding requires AI to evolve through accumulating interaction with the user.

LG is also extending its consumer insight from home to the road with its offerings for an in-car experience. In the advent of an autonomous driving revolution, LG has set out to change and expand the definition of vehicles from a means of transport to mobile space. LG’s AI-enabled cabin will help users make use of their time saved from not driving, turning their vehicles into a conference room, movie theatre or even personal shopping boutique.

“Building this new in-car experience requires a wide range of different solutions in both hardware and software, which is why we need open collaboration,” said Park, illustrating LG’s efforts to facilitate a culture of open innovation.

He introduced LG’s collaboration with seat manufacturer Adient to develop smart seats for a more personalised in-car experience. Also announced was LG’s plan for its operating platform WebOS, which has been open sourced since March 2018.

“From this year, we’ll be adding to WebOS open access to LG’s proprietary AI platform for developers all around the world,” said Park.

He then presented LG’s ambition to unlock the potential of AI technology at a much larger scale by connecting hitherto individual units into intelligent systems. LG’s RSDP robot service delivery platform will systematically coordinate what multiple robots see, hear and learn to transform how people manage their work and environment. An AI-based smart grid will allow users to improve radically the efficiency of energy ecosystem, from production and storage to consumption. Intelligent signage will turn the physical elements of space such as walls, signboards and even floors into an active, intelligent part of the environment.

The keynote featured global experts including Peter Diamandis, founder of the XPrize Foundation; Andrew Ng, AI researcher; Alwin Bakkenes, managing director of automotive at Luxoft; Durga Malladi, senior vice president of engineering at Qualcomm; and Henrik Christensen, director of the Contextual Robotics Institute at the University of California San Diego.

“LG is a global powerhouse at the forefront of the AI revolution, which will impact nearly every major industry from technology to healthcare, agriculture, transportation, engineering and beyond,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO at CTA. “We were thrilled to have LG talk about AI for an even better life as its first keynote in CES history.”

LG has entered into a strategic partnership with Silicon Valley start-up Landing AI. Park and Andrew Ng, CEO and founder of Landing AI, signed the agreement at CES.

The partnership will focus on developing AI to improve the competitiveness of LG products, as well as to develop collaborative business models. Landing AI has developed machine-vision tools and algorithms that operate at resolutions well beyond human vision.

“AI is particularly transformative in manufacturing contexts and this partnership demonstrates our ambition not only in building revolutionary AI-powered products but also in advancing our vision for an AI-powered future,” said Ng.

Park added: “LG looks forward to collaborating with Landing AI to enhance user convenience and offer improved lifestyles for consumers through a more advanced AI technology.”