Qualcomm, a wireless technology company based in San Diego, has launched the Qualcomm Ventures AI Fund, with a plan to invest up to $100 million in AI startups, according to a press release.
The focus will be on companies developing on-device artificial intelligence (AI), where the machine learning takes place on the device and not on the cloud, to soften privacy concerns.
Qualcomm wants to make on-device AI a common component of wireless technology, whether it’s in cars or smartphones, by investing heavily in its development and commercial potential.
“At Qualcomm, we invent breakthrough technologies that transform how the world connects, computes and communicates,” said Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated. “For over a decade, Qualcomm has been investing in the future of machine learning. As a pioneer of on-device AI, we strongly believe intelligence is moving from the cloud to the edge. Qualcomm’s AI strategy couples leading 5G connectivity with our R&D, fueling AI to transform industries, business models and experiences.”
The first round of funding by the venture went to AnyVision, a startup that does body, object and facial recognition by using the AI on cameras and other devices. AnyVision will also have access to Qualcomm’s AI hardware platform.
Quinn Li, a VP at Qualcomm, said the AnyVision funding continues the company’s commitment to investing in its vision for AI’s potential.
“Qualcomm Ventures is proud to invest in the future of AnyVision and many other key players in the AI industry,” Li said. “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, 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.”