Intel Corp. (INTC) is betting big on artificial intelligence (AI), investing billions of dollars in machines capable of carrying out tasks normally reserved for humans in order to achieve its goal of becoming “the AI platform of choice.”
In an op-ed published on Monday, the chipmaker’s CEO Brian Krzanich confirmed that Intel’s capital investment fund, Intel Capital, has invested over $1 billion in startups that help “to advance AI” , including Mighty AI, Data Robot and Lumiata. The company also claims to have spent significant amounts on AI-related research and development (R&D) and partnerships and about $16 billion on acquisitions of small AI specialists, such as Nervana and MobileEye, to achieve a decent foothold in a market that is expected to grow considerably in the coming decades.
These various investments span a number of different industries, according to TechCrunch, including medical technology, climate change research and autonomous driving.
“We have an optimistic and pragmatic view of AI's impact on society, jobs and daily life that will mimic other profound transformations – from the industrial to the PC revolutions,” said Krzanich. “Our belief is that AI will bring significant new opportunities to transform business – from retail to healthcare to manufacturing – and have an immensely positive impact on society. AI will make the impossible possible: advancing research on cancer, Parkinson’s disease and brain disorders; helping to find missing children; and furthering scientific efforts in climate change, space exploration and oceanic research.”
Krzanich’s comments on Intel’s AI ambitions followed an official announcement that the chipmaker is set to work closer with Alphabet Inc.'s (GOOGL) self-driving unit Waymo. Intel has already collaborated with Alphabet in the past, providing the technology that powers Waymo’s self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans. The two companies will now team up to provide the computing power necessary for Level 4 and 5 autonomous vehicles. (See also: Intel, Toyota and Others Form Self-Driving Car Consortium.)
In a statement, Krzanich claimed that self-driving cars can help to eliminate the nearly 1.3 million deaths caused by vehicle crashes each year. He added that AI technology is developing at such a fast pace that he now expects his children’s children to never have to drive a car.
PwC recently predicted that AI will add $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030, the equivalent of the current combined output of China and India. The London-based professional services network made this ambitious forecast after concluding that AI has the potential to vastly increase productivity and spur shoppers to spend more. (See also: AI: These Companies Are Leading the Way.)