Huawei and Baidu form alliance to lead in AI-powered smartphones

©iSTOCK/Yongyuan Dai

Huawei and Baidu have formed an alliance with the intention of sharing their expertise to lead the new generation of AI-powered smartphones.

Many flagship smartphones are launching with dedicated AI chips — including, of course, Huawei’s very own Mate 10. Over the course of the next year, we expect these chips to be available in most high-end devices.

Research firm Counterpoint Technology forecasts that more than half a billion smartphones that will be shipped around the world in 2020 will have AI capabilities at the chipset level.

The current abilities of these devices are impressive, but limited. Huawei’s alliance with Baidu has the ability to unlock more of their potential. Robin Li Yanhong, Baidu’s chairman and chief executive, said the firm’s partnership with Huawei will “kick off the AI-powered intelligent devices era”.

Huawei and Baidu are specifically collaborating on an AI-powered platform alongside related technologies, internet services, and content.

“With our strength in research and development, Huawei will work with Baidu to promote industrial innovation and realise [the development] … of the next generation of smartphones,” said Richard Yu Chengdong, chief executive of Huawei’s consumer business group, in a statement.

Baidu has often been described as the ‘Google of China’ for its influence and innovation. Like Google, Baidu has been putting an increased focus on artificial intelligence.

Huawei, like many manufacturers, will be hoping to combat Apple in the AI-powered smartphone market. Counterpoint Research believes Apple will lead the world’s AI-capable chip market through 2020 as its Bionic chip gets adopted across its whole portfolio of devices.

What are your thoughts on the AI partnership? Let us know in the comments.

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