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Qualcomm to launch GPT-like tech on phones

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As generative AI applications like ChatGPT, Bard and DALL-E, gain traction, San Diego-based mobile chip manufacturer Qualcomm is working to bring these technologies to smartphones through its new-gen processors.

Apprently, the company is changing its position from a communications focused company to a connected processor, and its plans for mobile phones enables it to be a leading name in wireless communication, low power compute and artificial intelligence that can be used by many industries.

The built-in generative AI technology in smartphones would help users put in their queries just like they do with applications like ChatGPT and can get the answers. Currently, with generative AI technologies, all the queries are run through the cloud. But that won’t be cost-effective for companies running such systems going forward.

“India is a mobile-first country. Over the next few years, we will see the evolution of generative AI, with consumers expecting the technology to be leveraged on devices such as smartphones,” Rajen Vagadia, vice president at Qualcomm and president of its India and SAARC operations.

He said such technology must come to smartphones because the cost of running it on cloud is estimated to increase 10 times compared to a simple search on the internet. Vagadia said the phone will soon become a hybrid AI which will co-exist with the cloud to scale generative AI technology.

“Apart from the cost benefits, consumers also feel that whatever query they ask stays with them within their device owing to several privacy and security concerns. Those (concerns) will also get resolved once generative AI comes to smartphones,” Vagadia said, adding that the technology would first come in premium phones and would then be extended to phones in other price ranges.

Qualcomm recently demonstrated a generative AI model using its Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 mobile platform. The company tested a stable diffusion model, which takes text as a prompt or query and generates images based on it.

According to Vagadia, the current model of smartphones have a chipset block that supports artificial intelligence. Going forward, the block size might increase to help the system better leverage generative AI-kind of tasks.

Qualcomm, which works with smartphone companies and powers the handsets with its range of Snapdragon chipsets, has a strong presence in the automotive and IoT segments. In India, the company has 25% market share in chipsets, according to analysts.

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