Qualcomm has invested in a China-based artificial intelligence (AI) startup company, SenseTime, through a funding round that is set to complete before the end of the year. According to a new report from Reuters, SenseTime confirmed the investment, though its amount remains unknown as both Qualcomm and SenseTime did not reveal such info.
For those who might not be familiar with SenseTime, it is a Hong Kong-based company that provides face, text, human and object recognition, vehicle identification, and image processing solutions. Last month, Qualcomm and SenseTime signed an agreement to jointly develop AI solutions. As part of that collaboration, SenseTime's own algorithm will be incorporated into smart systems and devices. SenseTime's AI technology works to analyze and recognize people with the use of cameras. Such an intelligent system can be tremendously useful in law enforcement activities to capture suspects and criminals, though as to what the partnership between Qualcomm and SenseTime is intended to achieve remains to be seen. It is likely that the partnership aims to build advanced facial recognition technology, and with the funding allocated by the chip maker, such an endeavor will be possible in the future.
Qualcomm's investment in SenseTime is one of the several AI-related efforts initiated by the chip maker recently. In June, Qualcomm teamed up with South Korea's Naver Corporation to jointly develop and release Naver's AI platform called Clova. As part of that collaboration, Naver and its Japanese arm Line Corporation will deploy the Clova AI platform in a wide variety of devices that are fueled by Qualcomm's IoT (Internet of Things) chipsets. It is worth pointing out that Qualcomm is one of the largest IoT chipset manufacturer in the world. In fact, the company's IoT silicon is being relied upon by more than one billion devices on the market at present. Last August, the chipset provider also acquired Scyfer B.V. for an undisclosed amount as part of Qualcomm's efforts to expand the scope of its AI push to include more types of devices in various other markets. More related endeavors in the field of AI are expected of Qualcomm over the coming months as this segment continues to gain traction.