SenseTime teams up with Qualcomm for on-device AI push

October 20, 2017 14:46
SenseTime and Qualcomm plan to work together on AI and machine learning for mobile and IoT products. Photo: HKEJ

Hong Kong-based technology firm SenseTime Group has announced a tie-up with a Qualcomm subsidiary to drive the development and use of mobile phone chips with built-in artificial intelligence (AI) features.

Under the deal, SenseTime will collaborate with Qualcomm Technologies on AI and machine learning (ML) for future mobile and IoT products.

This collaboration will draw from the expertise of both firms in AI by leveraging SenseTime's ML models and algorithms with Qualcomm's Snapdragon premium and high-tier platforms, a statement said.

On-device AI enjoys a number of advantages over cloud-only implementations, enabling the devices to provide reliable execution even without a network connection. Other benefits include real-time performance, privacy protection and better reliability.

"Qualcomm has been conducting fundamental research in AI over a decade," Keith Kressin, Qualcomm Technologies' senior vice president for product management, said in the statement.

"Many devices shipping today using our Snapdragon mobile platforms already utilize on-device AI. We look forward to the results of our collaboration with SenseTime to further accelerate new and exciting capabilities of on-device AI for millions of customers using mobile devices," he said.

Li Xu, co-founder and chief executive of SenseTime, noted that development of an AI ecosystem requires efforts from players in multiple industries.

"The strategic collaboration between SenseTime and Qualcomm Technologies 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," Xu said.

SenseTime, founded by a number of local academics, specializes on computer vision and deep learning AI technologies. Valued at over US$1.5 billion, the company completed its series B funding in July, raising US$410 million.

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Hong Kong Economic Journal