Tech giant Samsung is opening a new research centre in Cambridge in a bid to boost its AI capabilities and explore the technology’s user-centric potential.

The Samsung AI Centre will be chaired by Professor Andrew Blake, a well known figure in the AI and former director of Microsoft’s Cambridge Laboratory.

Samsung also said in a statement that it was looking to expand its R&D workforce in the UK, looking to increase the number of employees from the current 250 to 400 in the near future.

Seunghwan Cho, executive vice president at Samsung Electronics, said: “This new artificial intelligence research centre in Cambridge is one of the key milestones in the long-term strategy of the company.

“In this new world of connected devices and services based on AI, Samsung’s vision is to help people do their jobs and live their lives better. We enable a physical connection between people and information, finding new ways of working together to develop more human-centred technology that serves the needs of users first.”

Professor Blake also commented on the announcement, noting that the new centre signified the technology giant’s commitment to the advancement of AI.

“The centre’s research will help us to better understand human behaviour, exploring areas like emotion recognition, and further expand the boundaries of user-centric communication to develop AI technologies that ultimately improve people’s lives.”

The news comes amid the UK government’s willingness to highlight AI as a key priority.

With this in mind, UK Prime Minister Theresa May commented on how the company’s decision may contribute to the country’s wider economy.

“Today’s announcement by Samsung will create high-paying, high-skilled jobs and our modern Industrial Strategy will encourage further investment like this all around the country. It is a vote of confidence in the UK as a world leader in artificial intelligence, and the new AI research centre will benefit from the world-renowned talent and academic prowess of Cambridge.”