The Qualcomm Ventures AI Fund, says the company, will focus on startups that share the vision of on-device AI becoming more powerful and widespread. Its emphasis will be on startups that are developing new technology for autonomous cars, robotics, and machine learning platforms.
As AI shifts towards the wireless edge – combining essential on-device capabilities with the edge cloud – the industry is already starting to see the full potential of 5G, says the company. The company sees its 5G vision and strategic commitment to on-device AI as going hand in hand with mobile becoming the pervasive AI platform.
"As a pioneer of on-device AI, we strongly believe intelligence is moving from the cloud to the edge," says Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated. "Qualcomm's AI strategy couples leading 5G connectivity with our R&D, fueling AI to transform industries, business models, and experiences."
As part of the AI Fund, Qualcomm Ventures LLC participated in a Series A funding round for AnyVision (Tel Aviv, Israel), a leading face, body, and object recognition startup whose use of on-device AI minimizes the spread of data, mitigating privacy concerns. The investment - the first made by the AI fund - will further AnyVision's efforts to expand into other industries and develop new AI applications.
"Qualcomm Ventures is proud to invest in the future of AnyVision and many other key players in the AI industry," says Quinn Li, senior vice president, Ventures, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and global head of Qualcomm Ventures. "This investment builds on our long history of successful AI investments, including Cruise Automation, Brain Corp., Clarifai, Prospera, SenseTime, and Retail Next."
"Through the AI Fund," says Li, "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."