AI is going to be incredibly valuable. You know it, I know it, and Qualcomm is betting on it by setting aside $100 million to invest in promising startups.
The chip giant is specifically looking at startups building on-device AI technologies. We’re increasingly seeing NPUs (Neural Processing Units) debuting in the latest devices, so it’s little surprise to see Qualcomm seeking to fund technologies which may provide an edge.
Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated, said:
“At Qualcomm, we invent breakthrough technologies that transform how the world connects, computes, and communicates. For over a decade, Qualcomm has been investing in the future of machine learning.
As a pioneer of on-device AI, we strongly believe intelligence is moving from the cloud to the edge. Qualcomm’s AI strategy couples leading 5G connectivity with our R&D, fueling AI to transform industries, business models, and experiences.”
Qualcomm has made AI investments through its evergreen venture fund in the past, including in China’s facial recognition darling SenseTime.
SenseTime became the most funded AI startup in the world earlier this year, with a reported valuation of over $3 billion.
The company’s facial recognition and video analysis technologies are used by the Chinese government and the company is aiming for its ‘Viper’ system to be able to process and analyse over 100,000 simultaneous real-time streams from traffic cameras, ATMs, and more to automatically tag and keep track of individuals.
Some other AI investments made by Qualcomm include General Motors-owned autonomous driving firm Cruise, and Tel Aviv-based AnyVision who are developing face, body, and object recognition technology.
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