Qualcomm to spend $100m backing AI start-ups

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Qualcomm has pledged to invest $100 million in artificial intelligence start-ups as it shifts from the cloud to the edge.

The chipset maker said it will focus on start-ups concentrating on on-device AI across autonomous cars, robotics and machine learning platforms.

Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm, said: "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 already taken part in a Series A funding for AnyVision, a face, body and object recognition start-up. The investment will help the company expand its offering and shift into new industries.

Quinn Li, Global Head of Qualcomm Ventures, added: "Through the AI Fund, we’ll continue to seek out startups, with a focus on autonomous cars, robotics, computer vision and IoT, who are developing new AI applications, advanced machine learning technologies and AI/ML platforms across different verticals.”

Last month, Elisa revealed it was using artificial intelligence to help it track air quality in cities. Samsung also bought the Spanish firm Zhilabs to grow its AI capabilities.

However, an ABI Research report, published in the same month, warned that operators needed to move away from their traditional siloed operations in order to capitalise on artificial intelligence. It said telco departments had different vendor partners, frameworks and implementation strategies.