Intel and global investment firm DigitalBridge Group yesterday announced the formation of Articul8 AI, an independent company offering enterprise customers what was described as a “full-stack, vertically-optimized and secure generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) software platform designed to keep customer data, training, and inference within the enterprise security perimeter.” It will be available in the cloud, on premises, or in a hybrid deployment.

The intellectual property and technology driving the platform were developed at Intel, and in addition, it is also providing Articul8’s first chief executive officer (CEO), Arun Subramaniyan, formerly vice president and general manager in Intel’s data centre and AI group.

According to a release, “the two companies will remain strategically aligned on go-to-market opportunities and collaborate on driving GenAI adoption in the enterprise.”

The move was something Brian Jackson, principal research director at Info-Tech Research Group, did not expect. “We know their chips aren’t ideal for training these large models used for GenAI, and we don’t typically think of Intel for its software development prowess,” he said. “Yet here it is launching a generative AI software platform.

“It looks like they are looking to sell out-of-the-box GenAI solutions to specific industry problems, with several examples listed on the Articul8 website. They focus on positioning the software platform as able to run within a company’s security perimeter. Definitely one of the top concerns we hear from enterprise customers about using GenAI is that data could be exposed to third-party providers, or worse yet used to train a provider’s own large language model.

“That could threaten a company’s business model, so guarantees of privacy and security by virtue of running models on your own infrastructure will appeal to many enterprises, especially those in the critical infrastructure or government category.”

Jackson also sees the logic in DigitalBridge’s involvement, given its investments in managed service providers who could provide enterprises with necessary services, and noted that the spinoff of the unit made sense.

“Intel is also working to mitigate its perceived weaknesses in the GenAI area,” he said. “Articul8 will support NVIDIA processors as well, and being able to work with a competitor’s hardware is probably the main reason Intel felt the need to spin out this business unit.”

But, he added, there’s still a lack of clarity about what Articul8 will actually provide: “Is it about training and customizing models or does it have specific solutions ready to deploy to operations? Is this for developers to get creative about what they want to build, or is it for business leads to get access to GenAI capabilities out of the box?”

In a release, Intel chief executive officer (CEO) Pat Gelsinger said that “with its deep AI and HPC domain knowledge and enterprise-grade GenAI deployments, Articul8 is well positioned to deliver tangible business outcomes for Intel and our broader ecosystem of customers and partners.”

DigitalBridge Ventures is the lead investor in the company, with Intel and a syndicate of other investors including Fin Capital, Mindset Ventures, Communitas Capital, GiantLeap Capital, GS Futures and Zain Group also on board.

The post In surprise move, Intel, DigitalBridge launch enterprise GenAI firm first appeared on IT World Canada.

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