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Qualcomm partners SenseTime to bring AI to IoT

Steve Rogerson
October 26, 2017
Qualcomm Technologies is collaborating with Chinese company SenseTime Group on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) for future mobile and IoT products. The goal is to combine SenseTime's ML models and algorithms with Qualcomm Snapdragon platforms to provide heterogeneous computing capabilities for client based AI.
The companies expect to drive the popularity and development of on-device AI in areas such as innovative vision and camera-based image processing.
"To develop an AI ecosystem, it takes efforts from players in multiple industries," said Li Xu, co-founder and chief executive officer of SenseTime. "The strategic collaboration between SenseTime and Qualcomm Technologies will advance on-device intelligence by leveraging our algorithm and Qualcomm Technologies' chipset. Together we'll push the envelope and extend AI to places that are currently beyond reach. Our strategic collaboration will become a turning point for the whole AI ecosystem."
Devices such as smartphones and connected cameras are becoming more intelligent with the proliferation of AI. Implementing AI on the device provides a number of advantages over cloud-only implementations, enabling edge devices to provide reliable execution with or without a network connection. Additional benefits of on-device AI include real-time performance, privacy protection and enhanced reliability.
"Qualcomm has been conducting fundamental research in AI over a decade," said Keith Kressin, senior vice president at Qualcomm Technologies. "In fact, many devices shipping today using our Snapdragon mobile platforms already utilise on-device AI. We look forward to the results of our collaboration with SenseTime to further accelerate new and exciting capabilities of on-device AI for millions of customers using mobile devices."
Currently, Qualcomm is focused on optimising the Snapdragon mobile platform to accelerate myriad AI use cases in the areas of computer vision and natural language processing – for smartphones, IoT and automotive – and is researching broader executions in the areas of wireless connectivity, power management and photography.
SenseTime plays an important role in deep learning algorithm innovation and has built a proprietary deep learning platform called Parrots. The company's deep learning technology makes it possible to innovate and develop algorithms with low cost and quick turn-around. SenseTime has made breakthroughs in algorithm model miniaturisation. Its strategic collaboration with Qualcomm is expected to improve the speed and efficiency of combining algorithm and chipset, making SenseTime's AI technology more pervasive.
The first public demonstration of this collaboration will be showcased next week in Qualcomm Technologies' meeting rooms at the Ritz Carlton during the China Public Security Expo in Shenzhen.
SenseTime has more than 400 customers and strategic partners including Qualcomm, NVidia, China Mobile, UnionPay, Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and Weibo. It has offices in Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Kyoto and Tokyo.