The new product group will be ran by Nervana co-founder Naveen Rao, who himself will report directly to CEO Brian Krzanich.
One way to look at this news is to focus on the hiring aspect
—that Intel’s deep pockets will result in yet another big company sucking up all available talent. Hiring is certainly on the top of mind right now, especially with Tuesday’s news that AI expert Andrew Ng is resigning from his leadership role at Baidu
. Many people missed another important move in China on Thursday, with Zhang Tong, former head of Baidu’s big data lab, heading to rival Tencent
to lead it 250-person AI lab.
To paraphrase Heidi Klum’s Project Runway catchphrase: “In AI, one day you have all the talent, the next day you don’t.”
However, I tend to look at all of Intel’s investments as evidence that, with the algorithmic flywheel now running at top speed, it’s time to focus on hardware. GPUs might be a fine choice for training models and running workloads inside data centers (although there’s evidence that FPGAs will actually deliver better performance), but they aren’t such a sensical option when you’re talking about a wearable device or an IP camera
As I’ve said before: Intel missed mobile, is seeing declining server sales, and lost out on the early AI workloads to Nvidia. As AI becomes embedded into the consumer experience, in what some are calling the next big era of computing, Intel is determined to dominate once again