Samsung plans to invest heavily in AI, 5G and other new technologies (Photo: Samsung)

Samsung plans to invest $22.3 billion over the next three years in areas such as artificial intelligence, 5G communication, automotive electronics components and biopharmaceuticals.

Overall investments, aimed at making the Korean electronics conglomerate a global technology leader, are set to total more than $160 billion. That will include spending on future growth businesses and a range of capital expenditures and R&D investments.

More than 70% of the total will be spent in Korea.

Samsung said its investment surge will be led in first instance by Samsung Electronics, which wants to be a leader in developing “innovative businesses for the digital economy.”

The company plans to add a significant number of AI researchers to bring the total worldwide to 1,000. It also will invest heavily in 5G chipsets and related devices and equipment.

Both AI and 5G are key drivers of growth and new opportunities in a changing global tech environment, Samsung said.

"The next-generation 5G telecommunications technology will create new opportunities in autonomous driving, the Internet of Things (IoT) and robotics," the company said in a press release.

-By Arjen Bongard