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Qualcomm Lays Out AI Vision of the Future

With the help of recently acquired startup Scyfer, Qualcomm plans to embed AI in all manner of devices, including cars.

Sarah Thomas

August 22, 2017

2 Min Read
Qualcomm Lays Out AI Vision of the Future

Qualcomm's view of the future is one in which every smartphone, device and car on the road is equipped with artificial intelligence via a connected -- Qualcomm -- chipset.

The company laid out this AI-driven view of the world last week as its Qualcomm Technologies subsidiary announced acquisition of Netherlands-based deep learning company Scyfer B.V. The startup is focused on cutting-edge machine learning techniques for industries such as manufacturing, healthcare and finance.

Scyfer founder and University of Amsterdam professor Dr. Max Welling will join Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) as part of the acquisition, terms for which were not announced. He, along with the rest of the Scyfer team, will remain in Amsterdam, where Welling will continue to teach. Qualcomm has worked with the University of Amsterdam since 2012 via its joint machine learning research lab, QUVA.

For more on artificial intelligence and machine learning, visit the dedicated automation content channel here on Light Reading.

Qualcomm says it's been in the AI game for a decade (see its timeline here), supporting AI use cases such as natural language processing and malware detection on smartphones, but it's looking to take its involvement further. Qualcomm Executive Vice President of Technology Matt Grob said in a blog post that the company is researching broader topics, such as AI for wireless connectivity, power management and photography.

While most companies focus on AI at the cloud level, Qualcomm's goal is to have AI processing done on each device so that it doesn’t require a network or WiFi connection, which the company says will allow for immediate response time, enhanced reliability, increased privacy protection and more efficient use of network bandwidth.

Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon chips include dedicated modules for machine learning. It also released its Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine software development kit for developers for neural network-driven user experiences in July.

— Sarah Thomas, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Director, Women in Comms

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About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

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