Intel buys AI start-up Nervana for £312 million

Intel is buying machine learning start-up Nervana, and it's paying some serious money for it. According to multiple media sources, the 48-person start-up was acquired for a stunning $408 million (£312m).

Nervana is an artificial intelligence company which is looking to integrate AI beyond the usual software – it wants to squeeze it into the chips themselves. And who better to team up with to achieve that goal than Intel – one of the biggest chipmakers in the world.

But the deal isn't around consumer electronics – it's about chips in data centres. According to Intel vice president Jason Waxman, data centres and internet of things devices will operate such huge amounts of data, it will be virtually impossible for humans to use them.

Beyond all of this is an interesting idea – Intel believes artificial intelligence, especially in IoT and data centres, will eclipse the move to cloud computing. “There's always a next wave,” Waxman said. “I firmly believe this is not only the next wave but something that will dwarf the last wave.”

On the other hand, it seems as Nervana doesn't mind being part of Intel, either.

“By selling to Intel”, he said, “we have access to technology we'd never dream about.”

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