Qualcomm and SenseTime to drive on-device artificial intelligence

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Qualcomm Technologies and SenseTime have revealed that they will be collaborating on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) for future mobile and IoT products.

The collaboration will involve leveraging SenseTime’s ML models and algorithms with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon platforms which offer advanced heterogeneous computing capabilities for client based AI. The companies are expected to focus on vision and camera-based image processing.

SenseTime is China’s largest AI company and is responsible for China’s only proprietary deep learning platform, called Parrots.

As smartphones and connected cameras become more intelligent implementing AI on the device provides a significant number of advantages over cloud-only implementations, enabling edge devices to provide reliable execution with or without a network connection. Other benefits include: on-device AI include real-time performance, privacy protection and enhanced reliability.

“To develop an AI ecosystem, it takes efforts from players in multiple industries,” said Dr Li Xu, co-founder and chief executive officer, SenseTime. “This strategic collaboration 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."

“Qualcomm has been conducting fundamental research in AI over a decade,” added Keith Kressin, senior vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “In fact, many devices shipping today using our Snapdragon mobile platforms already utilize on-device AI.”

Qualcomm Technologies is currently looking to optimise the Snapdragon mobile platform and accelerate myriad AI use cases in the areas of computer vision and natural language processing and is researching broader executions in the areas of wireless connectivity, power management, and photography.

SenseTime has made numerous breakthroughs in algorithm model miniaturisation and this strategic collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies is expected to significantly improve the speed and efficiency of combining algorithm and chipset; the aim being to make SenseTime's AI technology more pervasive.