The world’s biggest companies are looking to capitalize on artificial intelligence’s rising ubiquity in their own businesses. Qualcomm, the telecommunications and semiconductor equipment giant, announced a new, $100 million AI-focused investment fund in November that doubles down on that commitment. The Qualcomm Ventures AI Fund will focus on “startups transforming artificial intelligence…that share the vision of on-device AI becoming more powerful and widespread, with an emphasis on those developing new technology for autonomous cars, robotics, and machine learning platforms,” according to a press release.
Like most companies its size, Qualcomm has been working with AI in a research and development capacity for many years – boasting a “heritage of developing the foundational building blocks of low power processing and connectivity, which are essential for AI.” Even the smallest AI advancements can give Qualcomm’s business an advantage, especially as the company continues its push to become a leader in 5G mobile technology.
“At Qualcomm, we invent breakthrough technologies that transform how the world connects, computes, and communicates,” said Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated. “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 found success with a diverse slate of AI investments, “including Cruise Automation, Brain Corp., Clarifai, Prospera, SenseTime and Retail Next,” said Quinn Li, head of Qualcomm Ventures. Their investment strategy focuses primarily on companies “who are developing new AI applications, advanced machine learning technologies and AI/ML platforms across different verticals.”
AnyVision, who according to their website is the “world’s leading recognition platform, used across multiple industries globally,” was the first beneficiary of the AI Fund, which contributed to the company’s Series A round. The company uses on-device AI to perform vital functions like “[minimizing] the spread of data, mitigating privacy concerns.” Qualcomm, who license their catalog of patents for significant profit, saw potential in AnyVision’s proprietary algorithms, as well as its “unique data acquisition strategy…[that is] expected to provide immense value to customers.”
With a strong AI investment track record and sterling in-house R&D program, Qualcomm is uniquely positioned to capitalize on AI’s continued rise, improving the space as a whole as well as their own businesses. Their status as leading developers of 5G and AI technology makes a successful quest for “ubiquitous” on-device AI seem all the more plausible.
The Investment and Financial Industry Faces the Same A.I.-Driven Evolution
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