Huawei hands Berkley $1m for joint AI research

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Huawei is to provide US$1 million to the University of California, Berkeley, to fund research into artificial intelligence (AI).

The China-based vendor said the funds will cover studies into various fields of machine learning, including deep learning, reinforcement learning, natural language processing and computer vision.

“The two parties believe that this strategic partnership will fuel the advancement of AI technology and create completely new experiences for people, thus contributing greatly to society at large,” said Huawei in a statement.

The deal is part of a strategic partnership between the Berkley’s newly-formed Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research (BAIR) Lab and Huawei’s own Noah's Ark Lab, set up four years ago in Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

BAIR has around two-dozen faculty staff and over 100 graduate students pursuing research on fundamental advances in machine learning and robotics, and connecting AI with other scientific disciplines and the humanities.

Huawei’s Noah's Ark Lab has developed technologies for deep learning, telecom big data analytics, telecom network control, flow data mining, and image data mining, which have been variously used in the vendor's smartphones, networks, and cloud computing products.

Interest in AI continues to ramp up across the telecoms industry.

Last week, Samsung snapped up AI start-up Viv Labs, founded by the team behind Siri as it seeks to bolster its own credentials in the space.

Telenor announced plans in August to launch an AI lab in Trondheim, Norway, in collaboration with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and research institute SINTEF.