Samsung Electronics’ C-Lab to reveal new AI projects at SXSW 2018

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Samsung Electronics announced that it would showcase three innovative new C-Lab (Creative Lab) projects based on artificial intelligence (AI) from March 11 through 14 at the South by Southwest (SXSW) 2018 Trade Show.

These projects – Toonsquare, Aurora, and GADGET – will introduce new user experiences with AI technologies to the attendees.

“The majority of ideas that have been proposed recently aim to utilize artificial intelligence to solve inconveniences in daily life,” said Jaiil Lee, Vice President and Head of the Creativity & Innovation Center at Samsung Electronics. “We hope to see these ideas in action in the near future.”

The three new C-Lab projects are:

  • TOONSQUARE

Toonsquare, an artificial intelligence application which automatically converts a sentence into a cartoon, allowing users to easily make their own cartoons. The app first allows users to choose a character from the pre-sets the app offers or create a character based on pictures of themselves. Second, the app analyses text put in by the user to figure out the emotion and movements implied in the sentence. It then recommends proper facial expressions as well as appropriate gestures of the character. Backgrounds, fonts, and speech bubbles can also be customized to create a cartoon or a picture diary.

How it Works

 How it Uses AI

  • Toonsquare uses AI to analyze the text input, determining what the context is and what facial/body expressions should accompany the character
  • Toonsquare also uses AI to determine facial features including the length and curviness of hair as well as accessories like glasses off a real-life image, and then call up the most appropriate parts from the database
  • In both cases, continuous learning is key and so the team built a separate website to enhance the learning.

Inspiration

  • Ho-young Lee, a UX designer by profession, drew lifestyle web cartoons as a hobby and actually grew a fan base, only to be find out how hard it is to find the time to draw cut by cut while working a day job.
  • Ho-young then ran into AI developers in the company and found out he could automate much of the process

Aspiration

  • Eventually, the team hopes to develop TOONSQUARE into a fun and creative social networking service where people can generate and share their own cartoons from their own inspirations.

AURORA

Aurora, a smartphone app and deck that shows a visualized 3D character assistant, enabling users to interact emotionally with the assistant. While existing voice assistants provide the information only with voice, Aurora gives intuitive user experience by giving information visually onto the display of the device. Aurora also recognizes gestures and the location of the user through the camera of the smartphone, allowing for a more intuitive interface.

How it Works

How it Uses AI

  • Aurora utilizes an open-source AI engine to figure out what the user is asking for and provide appropriate feedback – whether it be weather information or carrying out voice/gesture commands
  • Additionally, Aurora also learns users emotions and provides visual feedback including facial expressions and gestures the hologram makes

Inspiration

  • Members saw a movie where the lead character falls in love with an AI persona and saw potential for a more sympathetic AI assistant
  • The team also wanted to increase accessibility to AI assistants, which in many cases price is a hurdle

Aspiration

  • To create an AI assistant that can be used more naturally and conveniently across a wider range of smartphones.

GADGET

GADGET, a real-time ad auction platform for in-game ads. Most in-game ads are pop-up or interstitial ads which tend to interfere with gamers’ experiences. GADGET helps the ads blend into the game by serving them as native objects in areas like billboards in the background. Game developers can easily import the GADGET plug-in to place ads with just a few clicks. Ads are sold to advertisers real-time via automated trading platform. The ad content is updated in real-time, interfacing with the GADGET server, and can be targeted based on gamers’ preferences.

How it Works

How it Uses AI

  • GADGET analyzes information that is available (which may vary by game, region, etc.) such as age, gender and interests to offer relevant ads to gamers in a non-intrusive manner.

Inspiration

  • Changsoo Moon has work experience in gaming and advertising companies where he always found it difficult to place products (PPL) or ads in content
  • As gamers, all of whom have started gaming since the 8-bit console days, the team members also found it annoying when ads would interfere with game play

Aspiration

  • GADGET was designed as an “all-in-one gadget”; a “Swiss Army knife,” so to say, for advertising services that is useful for advertisers, developers and gamers alike.

Since its SXSW debut in 2015, C-Lab has introduced various projects in the field of music, art, and interactive technologies, to validating business opportunities and getting user feedback to refine the prototypes to reach market fit.

Created in December 2012, C-Lab is an in-house idea incubation program that encourages a creative corporate culture and nurtures innovative ideas from Samsung employees. C-Lab projects that are closely related to Samsung business are transferred to in-house division for further development.

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