Oct 18, 2017

Samsung gets serious about artificial intelligence

Ahn Young-joon / AP

When people think of Samsung, they think more about specific pieces of hardware than they do about a platform with a thriving developer ecosystem. But, the Korean electronics giant would very much like to change that and hopes that today's Samsung Developer Conference in San Francisco marks a turning point.

Samsung mobile chief DJ Koh sat down with Login on Tuesday to talk about the company's work to unify its far-flung divisions, its relationship with Google and how the company has moved forward from the disastrous Galaxy Note 7 scandal.

The bottom line: The company is the dominant player in Android and a force in appliances and home electronics, but has a ways to go to be seen as a serious player in software and AI. Its initial efforts with Bixby got off to a slow start amid delays.

Here are some highlights from the conversation:

On Samsung:

  • Koh said Samsung Electronics different divisions are finally collaborating strategically and the relationship is the closest is has been in his 33 years at the company.
  • "There is clearly a firewall between mobile and semiconductor - they have their own customers," he said. "But my point in terms of preparations for the future, new technologies are coming in AI IoT, VR, AR,. ... How can we meet the challenge in terms of that we are unified as one company."

Lessons from the Note 7:

  • "It's very much a painful memory. When I look back a year ago it was so sad and very much a difficult and tough time. My two driving principles were accountability and transparency – both inside and outside of Samsung. I was trying to keep two principles one is my accountability not only inside of Samsung but out, and the other was transparency."
  • The company tested thousands of devices and batteries as part of an extensive investigation, implementing new safety measures, including an 8-point battery safety test designed to avoid a repeat.
  • "I'm very happy nothing happened S8 and S8+ and Note 8. I want to gain back customers love and trust in the brand and products. I'm not relaxing at all."

On Software and Services and relations with Google:

  • "Our software and services are not just a new thing," he said, pointing to Samsung Pay, digital health efforts and the Knox security suite.
  • As for things with Google, Koh said the relationship is the best it has ever been, noting that he met recently with CEO Sundar Pichai.

Update: At the developer conference on Wednesday, Samsung announced a new version of Bixby and said it was unifying its disparate cloud efforts under the SmartThings moniker.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 5,584,091 — Total deaths: 349,894 — Total recoveries — 2,284,242Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 1,680,301 — Total deaths: 98,875 — Total recoveries: 384,902 — Total tested: 14,907,041Map.
  3. Federal response: DOJ investigates meatpacking industry over soaring beef pricesMike Pence's press secretary returns to work.
  4. Congress: House Republicans to sue Nancy Pelosi in effort to block proxy voting.
  5. Business: How the new workplace could leave parents behind.
  6. Tech: Twitter fact-checks Trump's tweets about mail-in voting for first timeGoogle to open offices July 6 for 10% of workers.
  7. Public health: CDC releases guidance on when you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 8 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump accuses Twitter of interfering in 2020 election

President Trump speaks to the press as he departs the White House in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. Photo: Mandel Ngan/Getty Images

President Trump responded via tweets Tuesday evening to Twitter fact-checking him for the first time on his earlier unsubstantiated posts claiming mail-in ballots in November's election would be fraudulent.

What he's saying: "Twitter is now interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election.They are saying my statement on Mail-In Ballots, which will lead to massive corruption and fraud, is incorrect, based on fact-checking by Fake News CNN and the Amazon Washington Post," the president tweeted. "Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!"

Twitter fact-checks Trump's tweets for first time

President Trump briefs reporters in the Rose Garden on May 26. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Twitter fact-checked two of President Trump's unsubstantiated tweets that mail-in ballots in the 2020 election would be fraudulent for the first time on Tuesday, directing users to "get the facts" through news stories that cover the topic.

Why it matters: Twitter and other social media platforms have faced criticism for not doing enough to combat misinformation, especially when its propagated by the president.