Likun Zhao, General Manager of Huawei Consumer Business Group South Africa.
Likun Zhao, General Manager of Huawei Consumer Business Group South Africa.
Global COO of  Huawei Mr Biao Wan. Image supplied.
Global COO of Huawei Mr Biao Wan. Image supplied.
(170811) -- JOHANNESBURG, Aug. 11, 2017 (Xinhua) -- Staff member chat in the OpenLab of Huawei's Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Innovation and Experience Center in Johannesburg, South Africa, on July 17, 2017. Chinese leading global ICT solution provider Huawei launched its first African Innovation and Experience Center in Johannesburg, South Africa on July 19, 2016, to showcase the company's state-of-the-art ICT products and solutions in the field. Covering an area of 500 square meters and with an investment of more than 72 million Rands (about 4.8 million US Dollars), the center is equipped with 5G wireless communications technologies, smart home solutions, safe city solutions, smart phones and other technological applications and solutions.  The center also serves as an open lab for university students as well as an incubation center for upcoming ICT enterprises. (Xinhua/Zhai Jianlan)(whw)
(170811) -- JOHANNESBURG, Aug. 11, 2017 (Xinhua) -- Staff member chat in the OpenLab of Huawei's Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Innovation and Experience Center in Johannesburg, South Africa, on July 17, 2017. Chinese leading global ICT solution provider Huawei launched its first African Innovation and Experience Center in Johannesburg, South Africa on July 19, 2016, to showcase the company's state-of-the-art ICT products and solutions in the field. Covering an area of 500 square meters and with an investment of more than 72 million Rands (about 4.8 million US Dollars), the center is equipped with 5G wireless communications technologies, smart home solutions, safe city solutions, smart phones and other technological applications and solutions. The center also serves as an open lab for university students as well as an incubation center for upcoming ICT enterprises. (Xinhua/Zhai Jianlan)(whw)

JOHANNESBURG - Apple's voice assistant Siri triggered talk around Artificial intelligence (AI) years ago.

Although voice assistants faded into the background, AI has kept a hold of people’s imaginations and remains a key trend in technology.  

In 2016, Huawei predicted the coming era of AI and proposed the concept of the 'superphone', implementing a strategy to coordinate AI development in terms of device, cloud and chip. 

In 2017, Huawei continued their efforts to develop an AI chip, aiming to seize the initiative before its competition. AI development is a priority for many leading organizations and the AI battle is about to commence. 

According to a statement by Huawei, insider information from Apple is that they are secretly developing an AI chip, which is rumored to be capable of improving its hardware system.  Besides boosting the performance of Apple's consumer level products such as the iPhone and iPad, it will also improve Siri’s capabilities, and will be applied to forward-looking programs like Apple’s autonomous driving system.

Also read: Huawei aiming for the top spot

Besides Apple, another American tech giant, Microsoft, is also expected to get involved in the AI chip, which is likely to bring more uncertainties to the battle. With its brand new mobile AI chip and Mobile AI strategy, Huawei is primed to enter the battlefield, and hopefully become a key player in this domain.

The reason behind Huawei’s investment in AI is self-evident. Currently, in domains such as the smartphone, products are homogenized while market competition is getting more and more intense. AI is very much an opportunity for phone makers to survive and thrive, making it a vital battleground. 

Global COO of Huawei Mr Biao Wan. Image supplied.

Huawei has announced its own AI chip plan. AI has become a platform for the phone makers to create differentiated value. Driven by the trend, winning AI is winning the future. Apple has always been working to offer highly integrated and smart products, but they are also being criticized for not being innovative enough, which could be a result of the absence of a clearly defined AI strategy. 

Huawei, quite different from Apple, continually invests in developing its own chips to compete with Qualcomm and Apple. The performance of its mobile chips is no longer a concern as Huawei’s capabilities in research and development are proven. And the upcoming AI chip will be something to look forward to.

- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE