Making Markets EP18: Quick Take on How Qualcomm is Changing the AI Game

In this Making Markets quick take, host Daniel Newman and Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon talk about what they are doing to become one of the leading AI companies in the world and change fundamentally how AI scales.

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Daniel Newman: You and I had a little chance off the record to talk about AI.

Cristiano Amon: Yes.

Daniel Newman: Now when I watch the tech summit and I listen to the keynote and I listen to some of the deeper dives technically, your company is doing so many things that I would say is changing the game for AI fundamentally, especially, or at this massive edge, right?

Whether that’s on our devices, our smart sensors, communities, vehicles, all these things. But Qualcomm doesn’t necessarily get the reputation that some companies get for being the AI company. How big of an opportunity do you see that as?

Cristiano Amon: Significant. And what the market’s going to understand is that AI will actually get scale at the edge. So look, AI is incredible technology. The ability for you to tap on computing resources in availability of data, you’ll be able to train. And you have a lot of the applications. We’re starting to see that every day and it’s growing exponentially. That’s an incredible technology. But what I think investors did not yet realize, the way AI works today, you have all this data that goes to the data center, and then you go to that data and you process this in the data center and you make recommendations. You make decisions, all of this, but the reality is everything else that is part of this story, that in the edge, everything will be intelligent, will be connected. You have processing, you also have tons of data and you can make decisions in real time.

And what’s going to happen is when you do AI at the edge, there are a couple different attributes. You have to do high computational, low power. You can’t afford not to have a server on your phone, a server on your computer. You’re going to have to do this with low power. The other thing you need to do, you have the benefit of having contextual information in real time. I’ll give you an example. Look, I can talk about this all day, but I’ll give an example. Your phone is doing certain behavior that the phone doesn’t expect you to do. I’ll give you a simple example. You send an SMS, you didn’t touch your SMS keyboard. The phone in real time says, this is not an acceptable behavior. We need to take action from a security standpoint. Or you take a photo and the photo is in dark, but I know what that is and I am going to use AI to fix that.

Or you could shift it to a car. I am making a decisioning in a split second, is this pedestrian moving towards the car or he’s stationary or he’s moving forward? Do I need to alert you, the driver? Do I need to check the camera to say, are you looking where you’re supposed to be looking? Do I need to alert the driver? Go all the way to what is happening on retail. For example, we have a partnership that we have with one of the largest retail companies in the world, and you have a camera.

It’s taking a look of a shelf and makes a decision that something needs to get replaced in the shelf because somebody just came and took it and I need to send a message to somebody to replace it. AI scale at the edge is going to be an order of magnitude bigger than we’ll see in the data center. And we’re actually the company that has the assets to do it. And we’re doing that already. So eventually, people are going to realize, wow, this company also is one of the leading AI companies in the world. And we’re going to get there.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, I think that’s something that you probably can’t voice enough. And as an analyst, there’s my advice. But no, I think that, that’s something that needs to catch on. And by the way, the word intelligent in itself has some assumptions and connectivity is one of them. It can’t be intelligent if it’s not connected. So those things have to coexist and to be connected there’s only a few companies in the world that really are developing the technology to do that, especially at the scale you mentioned.

Author Information

Daniel is the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise.

From the leading edge of AI to global technology policy, Daniel makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology investments. Daniel is a top 5 globally ranked industry analyst and his ideas are regularly cited or shared in television appearances by CNBC, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal and hundreds of other sites around the world.

A 7x Best-Selling Author including his most recent book “Human/Machine.” Daniel is also a Forbes and MarketWatch (Dow Jones) contributor.

An MBA and Former Graduate Adjunct Faculty, Daniel is an Austin Texas transplant after 40 years in Chicago. His speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.


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