LG ThinQ: Our experience with AI so far and what’s next for the industry

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AI News spoke with LG corporate vice president Samuel Chang about ThinQ, the company’s brand for products and services incorporating AI.

Chang played a major role in this year’s AI & Big Data Expo in Santa Clara last week, taking part in both a solo presentation on “Process Automation from IoT Data” and a panel discussion on “Data and the Customer”.

Following the event, AI News decided to catch up with Chang to discuss LG’s current experience in artificial intelligence and where the industry is heading next.

How important is AI becoming to differentiate from competing products?

With artificial intelligence gaining traction across a range of industries, it’s becoming important to allow differentiation among competing products. LG’s pursuit of “Evolve, Connect, Open” when it comes to AI and ThinQ offers enhanced convenience for users with diverse needs and tech preferences in their homes through personalised, proactive, easy, and efficient solutions. This approach allows the company to align with and offer the most expansive list of smart integrations on the market – whether with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, or future partnerships.

Specifically, with our open approach, LG is progressing toward incorporating IoT technology throughout the entire journey – including the product design/concept, the launch of new helpful tools, and proactive OTA (Over-The-Air) updates. LG is working with world-class cloud partners from Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, and combining with in-house development to develop, customise, and operate our IoT platforms.

AI is key to differentiating your products on the market by offering more robust opportunities and offerings for the larger consumer base.

What challenges has LG faced moving into AI and how did it overcome them?

The biggest challenge we faced as a whole moving into AI was creating truly meaningful products that will help our customer base with their daily routines and truly improve their lives. Through listening to what they want, we were able to produce a line of help innovations that do just that. 

LG ThinQ products use voice control to interact with users, as well as sensor data and diverse features such as product recognition and learning engine technologies to enhance their performance.

Do you think the smart home is meeting expectations?  

The smart home is a growing trend within the AI industry thanks to the influx of helpful tools introduced across the field. While many advancements have been made in such a short timeframe, we are still in the first inning of this technology adoption.

LG is focused on delivering better consumer benefits with advanced technology that will continue to improve over time. We aim to make the home more proactive and personalised for users based on our behaviour data collected across the products servicing their many needs. Knowing more about our user and their life leads to enhanced performance and, ultimately, to a better life.

Will distributed ledger technologies be important for smart devices and are there any plans at LG ThinQ to use them? 

While we are actively looking at distributed ledgers, including blockchain technology, there is no specific timetable for implementation. We believe this would be useful to enable an open ecosystem where various companies and contributors can participate. 

Is there a specific area of the market you and the LG ThinQ team are excited about?

LG is committed to producing helpful innovations for consumers. One example is our new AI-infused customer service solution, Proactive Customer Care. It’s a new paradigm in customer satisfaction, one that ensures greater value and peace-of-mind for owners of our smart home appliances.  

When it rolls out in the United States next year, Proactive Customer Care will leverage ThinQ AI to provide personalised support, alerting users to issues with their LG appliance, and offering helpful tips and solutions to maximise performance and long product life. Using the latest in AI technology, LG Proactive Customer Care is designed to inform LG smart appliance owners of potential problems before they even occur – it can expedite technician visits, if needed, and offer guidance on how to keep LG’s products functioning optimally.

What did you speak about during this year’s AI Expo North America?

I was thrilled to take part in my first AI & Big Data Expo North America in Santa Clara. As part of my activities onsite, I welcomed interested attendees to visit the panel discussion on “Data and The Customer” where I was joined by fellow industry insiders to discuss in the relationship between the data collected from companies and its customers.  

I also conducted a solo presentation on the topic of “Process Automation from IoT Data.” I helped to define process automation for IoT data and how it is key to use not only the right platform for your business, but also one that allows true process integration and automation for optimisation. This is essential to our work at LG and helps shape our future product launches.

Interested in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this? Attend the co-located 5G Expo, IoT Tech Expo, Blockchain Expo, AI & Big Data Expo, and Cyber Security & Cloud Expo World Series with upcoming events in Silicon Valley, London, and Amsterdam.

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