Tuesday , June 5 2018

LG detailed its vision for AI and let us play with its AI camera at MWC

LG may not have launched a brand new phone at Mobile World Congress this year, but they did launch an update to an already pretty-good-one. The LGH V30S ThinQ (try saying that 10 times fast) contains a spec bump to the company’s well-received V30, and started to bring LG’s vision of an AI-powered future to light.

At a MWC briefing, we heard from LG’s director of AI development department at LG Electronics about where the company intends to take mobile on-device AI in the future. Don’t worry – they’re not planning on building Skynet.

LG wants its ThinQ system to sit in a niche between Narrow AI (a specifically-coded AI agent that operates on specific tasks or problems) and General AI (thinking like a human, solving problems and constantly improving). This Narrow Personal AI, as they’re calling it, is intended to apply logical thinking based on experience, and should provide an ultra-personalised experience. Where this is going to manifest on your V30S ThinQ is in two main areas – vision, and voice.

On the vision front LG envisages providing visual search (so you can kick off a search based on an object in a photo), vision shoppping (so you can shop for items online based on a picture) – those two are coming in under the QLens moniker – and a smart camera that can recognise the objects in front of it (AI Cam).

For voice, LG sees on-device AI providing a gateway to your Internet of Things devices in a natural way with voice commands for remote control, and being able to bring together disparate ecosystems, much like the way Google Assistant provides a common interface to all your home automation systems.

The V30S ThinQ is LG’s first step in the direction of this future.

The company also announced that many of the AI software features present on the “S ThinQ” model of the V30 will be backported to the original V30 – so this should get much smarter in the next few months.

We got a chance to take the V30S ThinQ camera out for a quick run in the demo area at LG’s press briefing. While it’s impressive to see its recognition abilities at work, it does seem to misfire with incorrect suggestions rather a lot, but it’s still early days for the feature. Check out the video below to see how it fared.

As for the phone itself, the LG V30S ThinQ – it looks much like a normal V30, but comes in two new colours – New Moroccan Blue and New Platinum Grey.

LG hasn’t yet confirmed the V30S ThinQ for release in Australia, but if the phone comes our way you can be sure we’ll have full coverage of it.

Are you excited for smart AI features in your phone? Tell us in the comments.

Jason Murray   Deputy Editor

Before discovering the Nexus One, Jason thought he didn't need a smartphone. Now he can't bear to be without his Android phone. Jason hails from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane depending on his mood and how detailed a history you'd like. A web developer by day with an interest in consumer gadgets and electronics, he also enjoys reading comics and has a worryingly large collection of Transformers figures. He'd like to think he's a gamer, but his Wii has been in a box since he moved to Sydney, and his PlayStation Vita collection is quite lacking. Most mornings you'll find him tilting at various windmills on Twitter - follow @JM77 and say hi!

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