Huawei’s R&D arm, Noah’s Ark Laboratory, announced on Tuesday a partnership with the University of California, Berkley’s artificial intelligence (AI) lab focused on researching AI in all its forms.
Initially, the Chinese smartphone company will fund UC Berkley $1 million as it covers areas like deep learning, reinforcement learning, machine learning, natural language processing (NLP), and computer vision. Huawei is likely investigating AI in order to ensure its not left behind by rival smartphone companies like Samsung, Apple, and Google, all of which have begun implementing AI into their devices.
As hardware shipments begin to decelerate, hardware companies are looking at AI as the next growth platform. Consumers will increasingly find the value in AI as the technology becomes more sophisticated. Therefore, it will become imperative for hardware companies to have an offering of some sort, Cyanogen executive chairman Kirt McMaster told Bloomberg. In line with this, the number of investments in AI is growing rapidly, according to data from CB Insights.
AI is already being pushed as the technology that will power the next generation of consumer-facing products, such as chatbots, search, and camera functionality. Here are a few recent examples:
- During its hardware event last week, Google spent the vast majority of the conference outlining the many ways its virtual assistant, Google Assistant, is being integrated into its smartphones, messaging app, and connected home device.
- Samsung acquired Viv, which it intends to integrate into future models of its smartphones and connected devices to rival other connected virtual assistants, like Siri.
- Microsoft is betting that AI will usher in the next stage of consumer interaction, calledconversational commerce. The company is also integrating AI into all of its software offerings, including Office Suite 365, its third-party keyboard SwiftKey, and camera app Pix.
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