Samsung’s recently released Sustainability Report reveals quite a few insights into the company’s workings over the last year but the report for 2018 shows a marked shift toward research and development in A.I. More directly, the focus has been the creation of new A.I. in support of IoT, autonomous vehicles, and other emerging technologies. In fact, over the course of 2017, the company added no fewer than 3,000 new researchers to the former of those departments. Although that figure is relatively low when compared to its overall employees, that actually pushes the total number to 65,494 – just over 20-percent of its entire workforce. Part of the reason behind that high rate of hiring reportedly comes down to a push to draw in the world’s leading talent in emerging technologies. That’s required to both maintain position in the rapidly developing areas listed above and to gain a competitive edge over companies such as Amazon and Google’s parent company, Alphabet.
Alphabet, for example, spent just over $22.1 billion in research and development in 2017. Conversely, Amazon spent around $16.2 billion. That gives Samsung a lot to compete with in order to maintain itself as a leading supplier of chips and solutions that are in line with the emerging technologies listed above. The Korean tech giant spent just short of Amazon’s spending at around $15.20 billion over 2017. Amid that spending, Samsung has also been focused on hiring well-known experts such as Sebastian Seung and Daniel Lee. The two new researchers were previously served as professors at Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania. That’s something the company has needed to do in order to keep up with similar personnel acquisitions made by its primary competitors, according to Seung. But it’s also undoubtedly necessary given the high volatility of the A.I. industry and general lack of experts globally,
Although no detailed plans or other information has been provided, the company plans to spend even more on its research departments moving forward. Its current prediction is that it will have hired a further one thousand experts in those industries throughout the next two years. Those hires and changing trends are also predicted to result in the build-out of further research facilities. Those facilities will almost certainly also help accommodate Samsung’s increasing number of partnerships in its pursuit of new services and products.