Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Intelís $1 billion investment in the AI ecosystem is one of the well-publicized talking points at the processor company. The Intel empire boasts a breadth of AI technologies it has amassed by acquisition and Intel Capital investments in AI startups.
The acquired companies seemingly useful to Intelís AI ambitions thus far include Altera (2015), Saffron (2015), Nervana (2016), Movidius (2016) and Mobileye (2017). Intel Capital has also fattened its AI portfolio with startups Mighty AI, Data Robot, Lumiata, CognitiveScale, Aeye Inc., Element AI and others.
Unclear is how Intel is going to stitch all this together.†
With AI innovation still in its early days, Intelís apparent scattershot approach to AI strategy might be justified. We might still have to wait a while for a more coherent narrative to emerge.
Intel has talked up its AI hardware portfolio more often than its overall AI strategy. Typically, Intel announced this week that it will shipbefore the end of the year the Nervana Neural Network Processor (NNP), formerly known as ďLake Crest.Ē Naveen Rao, formerly CEO and cofounder of Nervana, and now Intelís vice president and general manager of AI products, describes NNP as featuring ďa purpose built architecture for deep learning.Ē
Intel has other ammunition when it comes to AI chips, including Xeon family, FPGAs (from Altera), Mobileye (for automotive) and Movidius (for machine learning at the edge).†
However, Intel has been reticent about AI applications or exactly which fields of AI where it will focus. AI is a realm both broad and deep. Among Intelís sprawl of acquisitions, the biggest mystery might be Saffron.
It was hard not to notice earlier this month when Intel announced a new product called the Intel Saffron Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Advisor. The product isnít hardware, although AML apparently runs on Xeon processors, but a tool for investigators and analysts to ferret out financial crimes.
Copyright © 2017 CST, Inc. All Rights Reserved