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LG Group To Invest In SoftBank’s Venture Fund For AI Start-ups

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The LG Group says it will invest $17 million in SoftBank’s venture fund focused on artificial intelligence (AI) start-ups.

LG Electronics Inc, LG Chem Inc, LG Uplus Corp, and LG CNS Co, the four affiliates will jointly raise $17 million for Softbank Ventures’ early-stage AI required fund of $273 billion, LG said.


LG in Lagos. Photo: LG Newsroom


The investment in the Japanese tech giant’s venture unit is part of the South Korean conglomerate’s broader plan to develop advanced AI technologies. This can be applied in a broad range of its products and services, Yonhap news agency reported.


LG also unveiled a cloud-based AI platform for software developers to create synergy between its affiliates. They vowed to expand collaborations with global IT giants, such as Amazon and Google.


“We will pave the way for digital transformation through R&D and investment in AI technologies designed to break the existing framework and create more customer value,” said Ahn Seung-Kwon, the chief of LG Science Park.

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Unveil Development Tool

On Tuesday, LG Group hosted a conference of 600 employees working in AI and data. The conference shared recent technology trends and updates.


At the event, LG unveiled a development tool that it says can reduce time consumed for deep learning by 30 percent. This is possible because the tool is based on a public cloud that enables access to multiple graphic processing units (GPU) at once.


“Competence in AI technology is linked to how much data one possesses, cutting-edge algorithms and computer hardware that ensures fast processing speed,” LG explained. “With its fast speed, GPUs have taken on the role of supercomputers in developing products and services in fields like telecommunications and bioengineering.”


The tool has a user interface that allows developers to use it by clicking buttons on the screen. This is instead of coding scripts in C, a computer language.


Leading the drive is LG Group’s Chairman Koo Kwang-mo, who took the helm last year.


“Digital transformation is a necessary change we have to go through in order to create new customer value and enhance our competence,” he stressed in a CEO meeting last September, calling for “radical disruption” in business and development.


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