Tech titans Intel, Microsoft pouring money into AI companies

Dive Brief:

  • Intel and Microsoft have both been investing heavily in artificial intelligence (AI) lately, according to a VentureBeat analysis.

  • Among others, both companies recently invested in Element AI, which helps connect companies with machine learning experts, and CognitiveScale, which uses AI to harness big data and deliver insights and recommendations. Intel also invested in robotic vision startup Aeye, while Microsoft put money into CrowdFlower, a platform that meshes machines with human input. 

  • Microsoft recently launched a dedicated fund for AI startups, according to VentureBeat, and Intel Capital now have more than 25 AI companies in its portfolio.

Dive Insight:

For many leading vendors, AI is the next big platform, and they want to make sure they are part of it. After all, companies that don’t get in on the ground floor could find themselves struggling to catch up with those that do, so they are pouring big money in now.

Intel has invested in 81 AI-related companies, the most of any of its competitors, while Alphabet has had the most artificial intelligence acquisitions, ahead of Microsoft, Apple, Intel and Salesforce, according to a report released last month from research firm Quid.

But will the pace of investment continue? Naveen Rao, head of AI at Intel, recently told Computerworld that he predicts research and investments into AI will continue at a dizzying pace for the next five years. 

If a few of the AI investments pay off, vendors could outpace competitors and remain relevant in the changing technology climate. There's also profit at stake. AI market revenues are expected to grow 487% in less than five years, according to a recent IDC study.

Filed Under: IT Strategy Big Data