LG is preparing its own smartphone AI in time for Mobile World Congress
Apple has Siri, Google has Google Assistant, Samsung has Bixby ... and LG will soon have a smartphone AI to call its own too. The company is launching a suite of artificial intelligence tools, covering image processing and voice recognition, in time for Mobile World Congress at the end of the month.
First in line for this new AI, which LG says it has been working on for more than a year, will be a refreshed version of the LG V30 flagship launched last year. After that, you can expect to see it in all of LG's future handsets, as well as on some as-yet-unspecified older models through over-the-air updates.
To begin with, the new artificial intelligence platform will offer Vision AI and Voice AI, focusing on the image and voice recognition so important for today's smartphones. The Vision AI will be smart enough to recognize what you're about to take a photo of, and suggest a camera mode best suited to snapping it.
The image recognition algorithms have been trained on more than 100 million pictures, LG says, to be able to work out whether you're taking a photo of a plate of food or your pet cat. The same smarts are going to be able to give you shopping links for an item as soon as you take a photo of it, and to brighten up dark images.
As for Voice AI, LG will be adding nine new exclusive voice commands to Google Assistant this year to go with the 23 that already work. The finished list will cover camera commands ("take a selfie video on a wide angle") as well as photo and video modes ("slow-motion video" or "image search").
While LG is stopping short of launching its own dedicated AI assistant – perhaps a wise move considering how advanced Google Assistant already is on Android – it's a sign of another phone maker prioritizing artificial intelligence alongside all the usual key phone specs like screen size and on-board RAM.
"As we communicated last month at CES, the future for LG lies in AI, not just hardware specs and processing speeds," LG's Ha Jeung-uk said in a press statement. "Creating smarter smartphones will be our focus going forward and we are confident that consumers will appreciate the advanced user experience with the enhanced V30 that many have been asking and waiting for."
Google made a big deal of AI at its I/O 2017 event, and since then we've seen processor chips launched from Qualcomm, Huawei, and Samsung that are specifically engineered to speed up AI tasks – such as image recognition – on handsets. Get ready for your phone to become even smarter during 2018.