CES 2020: LG pushes AI future with 8K TVs and home appliances

It will release six new 8K TV models.

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Image: LG

As CES prepares to open up its showrooms on Tuesday, LG has made clear that artificial intelligence (AI) will be its core focus for 2020.

During its CES press conference on Monday evening, LG chief technology officer, I P Park, and founder of Element AI, Jean-Francois Gagné, introduced the company's new tenets for developing AI -- efficiency, personalisation, reasoning, and exploration -- with the latter two tenets being aspirational in nature as LG has not developed any technology with those capabilities as yet.

The pair noted how LG's ThinQ air conditioners use AI to determine if there are people in the room, so it can adjust air flow accordingly to make energy usage more efficient. 

"[We are] all about a future where anywhere is home. This is a world where you can carry the essence of 'homeness' around you, wherever you are, whatever you do," Park said.

Park also unveiled LG's R9 robot vacuum cleaner, which he claims can learn from mistakes like getting stuck in gaps and corners by remembering spatial patterns. The R9 robot has been developed with personalisation in mind, Park said, through the use of pattern learning.

"As pioneers in the field of AI it is our responsibility to consider the importance of the human experience whilst pushing the boundaries of AI research and development," Gagné said. 

"Together with LG Electronics we hope that this work helps to set forth standards and principles that guide AI practitioners to consider a human centric approach when building the future."

For the remainder of LG's press conference, the company honed in on its product announcements, which ranged from unveiling TVs to washing machines to kitchen appliances. 

The consistent theme among these announcements was the implementation of LG's AI platform ThinQ in these products. 

For TVs, LG's Home Entertainment marketing boss Michelle Fernandez and senior director for product development Tim Aleesi announced that the company will introduce six new models of "real 8K" TVs in 2020 that adhere to the Consumer Technology Association's definition of 8K of having contrast modulation of around 90%. This certification differs from the one used by Samsung

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Image: LG

These TVs will also have LG's Alpha 9 Gen3 AI processors, which Fernandes said uses AI to upscale content to an 8K resolution.

She added that LG will also introduce 13 new OLED TV models for 2020, along with Nanocell technology updates to four of its premium LCD TV lines. 

On the home appliance front, Gail Conroy, LG's senior director for home appliance marketing, and Brandt Varner, the company's head home appliance product management, continued with the AI theme by unveiling the ThinQ Washer. 

With AI, Varner said, the ThinQ washer can detect the volume and weight of the laundry as well as the fabrics of the load to decrease fabric damage by 15%.

The washing machine also has what LG calls "proactive customer care", which uses the ThinQ platform to send maintenance notifications based on a consumer's usage if they're doing something wrong, such as using too much detergent. 

They also revealed LG's InstaView Door-in-Door fridge which can automatically produce slow-melting ice -- round 2-inch ice spheres that are designed for cocktails or "hosting parties". LG also announced that they have added the Instaview feature to one of its new ovens. 

Last week, LG announced a new rollable 65-inch OLED TV that, instead of springing out of its base, comes from the ceiling. The display, the company said, can be stored in the ceiling and pulled down like a projector screen, which means users will save TV stand space.

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