Innovation

Intel Buys Up AI Firm Saffron

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Deal could bring forward “cognitive computing” and high-speed analytics into the mainstream

Intel could be set to make its next generation of devices smarter than ever before thanks to the purchase of a leading artificial intelligence company.

The computing giant has today announced the acquisition of Saffron, which specialises in cognitive computing platforms that look to make computers and the businesses that use them make better sense of their data.

Intel says that Saffron’s technology, “ingests data from disparate sources and automatically connects the dots to help businesses of all kinds improve decision-making”.

Smarter

intelWith existing customers in the aerospace, insurance, healthcare and manufacturing sectors, Saffron offers Intel with a developed user base to grow and develop.

The deal, financial terms of which were not officially revealed, will see Saffron remain as a separate company but report in to Intel’s devices arm, contributing its knowledge to Intel efforts and platforms spanning new devices, big data, cyber security, healthcare and IoT.

“Saffron offers a fresh look at big data analytics,” said Intel’s Josh Walden in a blog post announcing the deal.

“We see an opportunity to apply cognitive computing not only to high-powered servers crunching enterprise data, but also to new consumer devices that need to see, sense and interpret complex information in real time. Big data can happen on small devices, as long as they’re smart enough and connected. Saffron’s technology, deployed on small devices, can make intelligent local analytics possible in the Internet of Things.”

Intel’s deal will see it try to keep pace with IBM, which has been leading the way when it comes to AI expansion in the last few months, having spent big to acquire several exciting new companies in order to boost its famous Watson technology.

Earlier this month, IBM announced it would be opening a dedicated cognitive business consulting unit, IBM Cognitive Business Solutions, which will build on Watson’s existing capabilities alongside the company’s business analytics expertise.

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