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Intel bets big on AI ‘for business and society’

Intel is making a big push in AI.

Calling AI “the next major turning point in human history,” Intel CEO Brian Krzanich wrote an editorial likening the coming revolution to the Industrial Revolution, saying this so-called Intelligence Revolution will be driven by data, neural networks and computing power.

And, conveniently, Krzanich said Intel is “uniquely capable” of accelerating the promise of AI and is therefore making “major investments” in technology and developer resources to advance AI for business and society alike.

This includes Intel’s Saffron cognitive platform, which leverages associative and machine learning techniques for memory-based reasoning and transparent analysis of multi-sourced, sparse, dynamic data, he said. This technology is particularly well-suited for small devices, making intelligent local analytics possible across the IoT and helping advance state-of the-art collaborative AI, Krzanich added.

What’s more, Intel’s pending acquisition of Movidius, which designs low-power processor chips for computer vision and deep learning, will give the brand further edge, Krzanich added.

Intel also acquired AI firm Nervana Systems to accelerate training time, which he said is a critical phase of the AI development cycle.

“The technology innovations from Nervana will be optimized specifically for neural networks to deliver the highest performance for deep learning, as well as unprecedented compute density with high-bandwidth interconnect for seamless model parallelism,” he said. “We expect Nervana’s technologies to produce a breakthrough 100-fold increase in performance in the next three years to train complex neural networks, enabling data scientists to solve their biggest AI challenges faster.”

According to a press release, the Nervana platform is the foundation for highly optimized AI offerings and enables data professionals to solve “the world’s biggest challenges” on industry standard technology.

Additionally, Intel said it is working to make AI truly accessible by introducing the Intel Nervana AI Academy for broad developer access to training and tools.

What’s more, Intel and Google announced a strategic partnership to help enterprise IT deliver an open, flexible and secure multi-cloud infrastructure for their businesses. The collaboration includes technology integrations focused machine learning, security and IoT.

In a blog post, Doug Fisher, senior vice president and general manager of the Software and Services Group at Intel, wrote cyber security is crucial to ensuring consumer confidence – particularly considering the proliferation of data and IoT devices by 2020. As a result, Intel has established a research center at the Georgia Institute of Technology dedicated to the field of machine learning cybersecurity with a focus on strengthening analytics malware detection and threat analysis.

In addition, to guide the responsible development of AI, Fisher said Intel is fostering real-world use cases of AI technology and partnering with government, business and “society’s thought leaders” to design products and services with broad benefits.

This includes a $25 million commitment to the biomedical and genomic research center the Broad Institute to drive high-performance computing for genomics analytics.

In addition, Intel is a founding partner of Hack Harassment, a cooperative effort with the mission of reducing the prevalence and severity of online harassment. The initiative is evaluating AI as a tool and is working to develop an intelligent algorithm to detect and deter online harassment, the release said.

Intel has also partnered with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and is providing AI technology and advising the center with the goal of accelerating the work of its analysts to respond to reports of child sexual exploitation.

What’s more, Fisher pointed out Intel has also partnered with Mobile Optical Detection Technologies, a company that seeks to broaden the availability of cervical cancer screening, to host a joint AI competition on Kaggle.com, a platform for data science competitions, which will go live in January 2017.

“Intel and Mobile ODT will fully engage the expertise, the support and the advocacy of the data scientist and developer community to help identify and classify the potential stage of cervical cancer [through the use of AI image recognition of soft tissue] to determine the appropriate treatment for the patient, with a particular emphasis on developing countries,” Fisher wrote. “This is a great example of how engaging ‘upstream,’ or early with the ecosystem, can solve real-world problems and drive AI innovation as a disrupter of healthcare in developing countries.”

At the end of the day, Krzanich called for the industry – and society – to work together to “achieve the ultimate potential of AI.”

Fisher agreed, writing, “Al is going to change our lives for the better as machines learn, reason, act and adapt — transforming industries by amplifying human capabilities, automating tedious or dangerous tasks and solving some of our most challenging societal problems.”

As a result, Krzanich said Intel is also “leading the charge” for open data exchanges and initiatives, easy-to-use tools and training to broaden the talent pool and expanded access to intelligent technology.