Intel Acquires Saffron to Invest in Cognitive Computing

In what seems to be a bid by Intel to catch up with IBM’s recent investments into the field of cognitive computing, Intel has announced their deal to acquire Saffron Technology, a cognitive technology startup.

What Saffron has to offer Intel is their Natural Intelligence Platform. According to Saffron’s website, the platform “mimics our natural ability to learn, remember and reason in real-time. This fundamentally different approach to memory and learning helps Saffron shatter the limitations of other computing paradigms”. This means that the platform can learn from data, not just by performing according to pre-programmed rules. The result has many applications in the real world as well as the academic, with Saffron’s platform able to do tasks such as predicting part failures in aircraft and identifying insurance fraud.

What this acquisition means for Intel is a potential angle of competition with IBM’s Watson Analytics platform, which markets itself on being able to analyze the reasons for sales over time and how social networks could affect company stocks and even predict the optimal fantasy baseball team.

Intel’s blog on the topic stated “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.” And despite being acquired by Intel, Saffron will still be afforded the freedom to continue operation of their existing standalone business, while also contributing to Intel’s ongoing efforts to further the technology.