Intel is serious about artificial intelligence. The multinational tech company just created the Artificial Intelligence Products Group (AIPG) which will foresee everything AI. The group will be under the leadership of Naveen Rao, former CEO of Nervana Systems, and will report directly to Intel CEO Brian Krzanich.
The AIPG will spearhead Intel's AI efforts particularly in developing chips and software that are related to algorithms, machine learning, and deep learning. Intel is already in the process of developing the Knights Mill, a codename for its new Xeon Phi chip which will dwell specifically on machine learning.
As part of the semiconductor company's move to further its interest in AI, Intel acquired a number of startups involved in the tech including Nervana which had a $350 million price tag. Rao is the co-founder and previous CEO of Nervana before being hired by Intel and designated the Vice President and General Manager of the AIPG. Intel also spent $16 billion to purchase Altera and, according to Forbes, is also targeting Mobileye for $15 billion.
Aside from Rao, Intel is also intent on getting the best minds to work for the company particularly for the AIPG. As Wired noted, Intel is looking at the likes of Andrew Ng, the brain behind Google Brain and Baidu, to join the team. Ng recently resigned from Baidu but will likely not stay a free agent for long. Hiring a top AI researcher will take a company back by a high figure which Wired said is similar to what an NFL quarterback earns. Rao indicated that Intel is willing to spend as much as it can just to have the talents that are at least comparable to the current minds working at Google Brain and Facebook's Artificial Intelligence Research Lab.
2017 may be the year of artificial intelligence. The technology has been developing at a gradual phase but recent developments thrust AI to the forefront. As a matter of fact, AI was one of the more popular themes at the CES 2017 and other tech shows recently held. Not a few companies have already joined the AI bandwagon and Intel's move to merge its AI operations into one unit is another indication that the tech is here to stay.