Pegatron showcases AI, neural network

POLYGLOT ROBOT::The contract manufacturer said it has developed its own in-house neural network, enabling its smart speaker to speak Chinese, Taiwanese and Japanese

By Ted Chen  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Jun 09, 2018 - Page 12

Contract electronics manufacturer Pegatron Corp (和碩) yesterday unveiled a full line of artificial intelligence (AI)-infused concept products, which it said shows its ability to keep pace with rapidly evolving market trends and customer specifications.

The company is preparing for the “AI of everything” era as a tidal wave of technological advancement creates new possibilities and helps reinvigorate mature technologies, Pegatron chairman Tung Tzu-hsien (童子賢) said.

AI and the Internet of Things are expected to help add new features and improve the user experience for mature products, such as smartphones and laptops, Tung said during a product tour at the company’s headquarters in Taipei’s Guandu (關渡) area.

Amid rising anticipation and an inventory ramp-up ahead of Apple Inc’s product launches in September, Tung sees stable growth across the supply chain in the second half of the year, he said.

It would be more worrying if there were a lack of new elements and improved value propositions, Tung said.

Pegatorn presented AI-enhanced robots for home and commercial use and a smart home security system, as well as a smart speaker and an augmented reality system.

It also unveiled an automotive dashboard, infotainment and communication solution designed to take advantage of the introduction of fifth-generation wireless technology (5G).

In the laptop segment, the company demonstrated its ability to make a fully saltwater resistant product, as well as new advances in materials and industrial design. It is particularly proud of its in-house neural network, which powers the voice command capabilities of the Martina II smart speaker.

Martina II is capable of processing voice commands in Mandarin, Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese) and Japanese, while most smart speakers by peers only cater to English speakers.

The voice command service is powered by Pegatron’s own neural network and does not rely on services provided by Google or Amazon, the firm said, adding that it can also process voice commands given in a mix of languages.

The smart speaker is equipped with a 3D sensing camera to detect different users and environmental conditions and adjust music playback, the company added.

While Taiwan has made headway in the AI race, efforts should be concentrated on developing applications as opposed to supplying hardware, Tung said.