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Intel invests $1bn in artificial intelligence

Steve Rogerson
September 27, 2017

Intel is investing $1bn in the artificial intelligence (AI) ecosystem to fuel adoption and product innovation.
“At Intel, we have an optimistic and pragmatic view of artificial intelligence's impact on society, jobs and daily life that will mimic other profound transformations – from the industrial to the PC revolutions,” said Brian Krzanich (pictured), Intel’s chief executive officer. “Our belief is that AI will bring significant new opportunities to transform business – from retail to healthcare to manufacturing – and have an immensely positive impact on society.”
AI could advance research on cancer, Parkinson's disease and brain disorders; help find missing children; and further scientific efforts in climate change, space exploration and oceanic research.
To drive AI innovation, Intel is making strategic investments spanning technology, R&D and partnerships with business, government, academia and community groups.
“We are deeply committed to unlocking the promise of AI, conducting research on neuromorphic computing, exploring new architectures and learning paradigms,” said Krzanich.
The tech giant has invested in start-ups such as Mighty AI, Data Robot and Lumiata through its Intel Capital portfolio and has invested more than $1bn in companies that are helping to advance artificial intelligence.
“I believe Intel will be the AI platform of choice, offering unmatched reliability, performance, security and integration,” said Krzanich. “We are 100 per cent committed to creating the roadmap of optimised products to support emerging mainstream AI workloads.”
AI products and services require a wide range of power and performance to meet application needs, and Intel has a large selection of options to choose from. To support the breadth of future AI workloads, businesses will need flexibility and infrastructure optimisation so that both highly specialised and general-purpose AI functions can run alongside other critical business workloads.
“The Intel Nervana AI portfolio delivers this breadth,” said Krzanich.
The Intel Xeon Scalable family provides scalable processors for evolving AI workloads and purpose-built silicon for intensive deep learning training. This is code-named Lake Crest. Intel Mobileye vision technologies suit specialised use cases such as active safety and autonomous driving. Intel FPGAs provide programmable accelerators for deep learning inference. And Intel Movidius low-power vision technology provides machine learning at the edge.
“AI is still in its infancy,” said Krzanich, “and, as this space evolves, we'll continue to advance disruptive approaches in compute that support the complex workloads of today and tomorrow.”
Intel has developed a self-learning neuromorphic chip – the Loihi test chip – that mimics how the brain functions by learning to operate based on various modes of feedback from the environment. This energy-efficient chip, which uses the data to learn and make inferences, gets smarter over time and does not need to be trained in the traditional way. It takes a novel approach to computing via asynchronous spiking.
Intel subsidiary Wind River is expanding its VxWorks RTOS IoT portfolio with the Axon analytics product that will provide VxWorks developers with a way to embed on-device analytics into their applications, to take advantage of predictive analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence. Axon Predict Analytics processes data without the need for cloud connectivity, so VxWorks developers can manage critical data at the edge of a network through visual edge analytics software, and get autonomous responses in real time.