Qualcomm bets $100M on new AI venture fund

When it comes to AI, Qualcomm's betting big. 

The company said on Wednesday that it plans to start a venture fund that will invest at least $100 million in early stage startups working on artificial intelligence. In particular, the fund will look at companies finding ways to do intensive data processing on devices instead of in remote cloud systems.

Qualcomm is just the latest company to make big investments in artificial intelligence. Companies such as Google have long focused on the technology, and handset giant Samsung said in June that its Silicon Valley-based Samsung NEXT business had launched a fund to invest in early-stage startups "solving AI problems, as well as those using AI to solve computer science problems." 

Artificial intelligence has the potential to change the way we use technology and even live. Anyone who carries a modern smartphone uses AI through Apple's Siri or Google's Assistant. Meanwhile, Amazon's Alexa has become popular for speakers and other smart home devices. Samsung jumped into the market last year with its Bixby digital assistant for controlling your Galaxy smartphone, TV or refrigerator. 

As the world's biggest mobile chip maker, Qualcomm hopes to get insight into the future of AI and what's needed from its processors. The company and many others in the semiconductor industry have been focusing on new AI chips that can rapidly process information and return results to users. 

On Wednesday, Qualcomm unveiled an investment in AnyVision, a startup that developed body and facial recognition technology "that is both highly accurate and mitigates privacy concerns through the use of on-device AI."

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