Insight Bite: Intel Boost Artificial Intelligence with Vertex A.I. Acquisition

In the latest of a string of acquisitions aimed at building the company’s artificial intelligence capabilities, Intel is buying deep-learning startup Vertex A.I.. This follows the purchase of Mighty A.I., DataRobot, Lumiata, AEye, Nervana, Mobileye, and Movidius amongst others.

The deal, settled for an undisclosed amount, will see the seven-member team behind Vertex A.I. – including the founders Choong Ng, Brian Retford and Jeremy Bruestle – join the chipmaker’s Movidius team in its Artificial Intelligence Products Group.

This rapidly growing business unit concentrates Intel’s A.I. efforts into a single organisation, and according to the website, aims to cover the entire spectrum of AI possibilities. This includes embedded vision, supported by the Movidius acquisition, automotive applications, supported by Mobileye, and datacenter inference, assisted by Altera FPGA.

Vertex however, will focus on deep-learning, and a note on the company website states that they will continue to work on the project that was in development prior to acquisition – a deep-learning engine called PlaidML, which will now fall under the Intel brand.

PlaidMIL, a rival to Google’s TensorFlow CPU, is designed to deploy deep learning solutions across multiple devices and platforms, and will now be developed as an Intel® nGraph™ backend.

“With this acquisition, Intel gained an experienced team and IP to further enable flexible deep learning at the edge,” Intel said in a statement.

The PlaidML project will also “support a variety of hardware” to help build Intel’s vision of the future of computing, which looks to harness A.I. and deep-learning capabilities with powerful chips and processors.

Intel are just one of many tech giants turning to A.I., and this recent wave of acquisitions reflects a commitment on their part to help usher in the next generation of autonomous computing. More specifically, Vertex A.I. are expected to support Intel’s objective of integrating A.I. to all aspects of its business.

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