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LG Electronics joins on-device AI race

Henry Kong, right, head of the IT customer experience division of LG Electronics, poses with Upstage Vice President Choi Hong-joon after signing a memorandum of understanding to collaborate in on-device AI at the former’s headquarters in Seoul, Tuesday. Courtesy of LG Electronics

By Baek Byung-yeul

LG Electronics partnered with domestic AI company Upstage to build on-device AI technology that allows devices to use AI functions internally without an external network connection, the company said Tuesday.

LG said it will develop an on-device AI language model with Upstage, which will apply its world-class small language model (SLM) technology to LG’s laptop brand, LG Gram.

On-device AI is a technology that enables AI functions to be performed within a device even without an internet connection. Since on-device AI processes information within devices, it has faster operation speed and lower power consumption than cloud-based AI services connected to a network.

In addition, it can solve security issues as private data is not leaked externally, and it can operate when an internet connection is unstable or disconnected, allowing AI services to be used anytime and anywhere.

On-device AI is gaining more attention as AI-related services are becoming increasingly important. Samsung Electronics unveiled the Galaxy S24 series smartphone equipped with on-device AI in January, and Apple is also expected to equip its iPhone series, which is set to be released in the second half of the year with on-device AI.

“The two companies will develop AI functions and additional services to apply to LG Gram, providing a new experience that helps the daily lives of customers with personalized, customized AI services,” LG said. “For example, it is possible to recognize the user’s commands and search, and recommend or summarize the content that the customer wants based on the data stored in the laptop.”

Through this partnership, Upstage plans to use its know-how from building its SLM Solar to develop on-device AI for PCs and appliances.

Upstage’s Solar has been regarded as optimal for on-device AI as it can provide various AI functions without affecting the inference speed and power consumption of the device. Solar ranked top with a performance evaluation score of 74.2 points in the global AI platform Hugging Face’s large language model (LLM) ranking last month.

“For the past 10 years, LG Gram has been leading the ultralight premium laptop market with relentless innovation,” said Henry Kong, head of the IT customer experience division of LG. “We will actively target the next-generation AI notebook market based on advanced technology.”

Upstage Vice President Choi Hong-joon added, “We expect to be able to provide faster, more convenient and safer AI services by developing and applying on-device AI technology with LG Electronics.”


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