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Samsung scouts global talent for AI, big data, robot businesses

Samsung Electronics has scouted globally renowned technology experts in an effort to strengthen its new future businesses, including artificial intelligence, big data and robotics, the company announced Sunday.

The South Korean tech titan has lately been hunting for top talent in the three fields. Last year, it hired AI scholars Sebastian Seung and Daniel Lee, jumping into the race for AI technologies.

To enhance current research and development capabilities in AI, Samsung recruited Wei Gu-yeon, a professor in electrical engineering and computer science at Harvard University, as a fellow at Samsung Research. The fellow position is only given to top-rate experts at the Samsung R&D organization. 

Wei Gu-yeon (Samsung Electronics)
Wei Gu-yeon (Samsung Electronics)

Wei will be in charge of developing the neural processing unit-based next-generation processor. The NPU -- the brain of AI -- is a core processor for AI programs that enables machines to have a thinking process similar to the human brain. Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology and System LSI Business have been working on the development of NPUs. 

For big data, Samsung scouted Jang Woo-seung, a principal scientist at Amazon, to be the head of big data at the company’s IT and mobile communications division.

Kang Seong-chul (Samsung Electronics)
Kang Seong-chul (Samsung Electronics)
, director of research on medical robots at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology, was appointed senior vice president, to strengthen the firm’s R&D capabilities in robotics. 

Samsung also hired external professionals in marketing in an effort to reinforce the competitiveness of its mobile business in particular.

The world’s No. 1 smartphone vendor by shipments recruited William Kim, former CEO of British fashion business AllStaints, as the head of the mobile division’s retail and e-commerce businesses. 

William Kim (Samsung Electronics)
William Kim (Samsung Electronics)

Kim will be working to expand ties between Samsung products and consumers, both online and offline. His foremost task is to ramp up smartphone sales.

To support marketing activities of Samsung’s overseas branches, the company also scouted local experts in North America and Europe. Samsung Electronics USA hired James Fishler, who headed channel marketing for audio products at Apple, as the branch’s senior vice president of TV and audio sales and marketing.

Samsung’s head office for the Europe business in the United Kingdom hired Benjamin Braun, who led marketing at Audi, as chief marketing officer.

For product and user interface design, Samsung hired Min Jae. S, who served as chief designer at Volkswagen’s design center in the US.

“The company will continue recruiting top talent in various fields to reinforce core businesses and spur preparations for new businesses,” a Samsung official said.

By Song Su-hyun (