Intel's putting its investment fund where its mouth is when it comes to artificial intelligence: The chipmaker announced today that it has funneled over $1 billion into AI startups via its Intel Capital center arm. That includes participating in rounds in companies including Mighty AI, Data Robot, Lumiata, AEye and many more.
Intel's investment focus has spanned a range of industries, from autonomous driving, to medical tech, to climate change research and more. It's thinking strategically about where it places these investments as it continues to build out its AI expertise and focus the business on areas like autonomous flight, self-driving, automated equipment inspection and AI computing at the edge.
Alongside its investments via Intel Capital, Intel has also spent significant resources on making AI a key part of its core business. That includes its headline-grabbing acquisitions of smaller companies, including Nervana in 2016, and Israeli automotive tech co. MobileEye, in a deal which closed earlier this year.
Those acquisitions add up to an estimated total spend of around $16 billion, with MobileEye accounting for the lion's share of that amount.
I'm speaking to Intel CEO Brian Krzanich on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2017 today, and we'll be speaking about the company's growing focus on AI and what that means for its investment business and corporate strategy.