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The Popularity of ChatGPT Is a ‘Milestone' in Establishing Qualcomm as an A.I. Company, CEO Says

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  • The chief executive of chipmaker Qualcomm sees the prominence of ChatGPT as a key opportunity to popularize artificial intelligence tools on smartphones.
  • "This is the milestone we've been waiting for to establish Qualcomm as an AI company," Cristiano Amon told CNBC.
  • Amon said that his company had an edge in creating the required processing power to run large language models without compromising battery life.

The explosive popularity of ChatGPT is an opportunity to show off the capabilities of artificial intelligence on smartphones, according to chip company Qualcomm's chief executive.

"This is the milestone we've been waiting for to establish Qualcomm as an AI company," Cristiano Amon told CNBC at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Developed by research company OpenAI, chatbot ChatGPT has been shared widely online, as users ask it to answer questions, generate text or provide detailed, responsive information.

Qualcomm recently released videos of text being used to generate AI images on an Android phone, which it also demonstrated at the conference.

"You want to generate any image that you want to share with somebody, you want to do it in real-time — think about what Microsoft is doing with search, and you want to chat with the search results," Amon told CNBC's Karen Tso and Arjun Kharpal. "For you to make that happen, you can't run everything in a data center, you're going to have to bring the AI to the devices."

Large-language models will be generated entirely within smartphones, he said, meaning that they will be able to work without being connected to the internet.

"The ability to create that much processing power in a smartphone and run that without compromising the battery life is something that only Qualcomm can do," he claimed.

In a note this week, analysts at Bernstein said that the powering of AI queries could be a multi-billion dollar annual market opportunity for chipmakers.

Qualcomm has also supplied chips for a variety of virtual reality devices, partnering with the likes of Meta, Samsung and Google.

Amon said that he believed smart glasses were the next frontier of computing and the "merging of physical and digital spaces."

"I can see a scenario that you're going to have your companion glasses to your phone, and eventually you're just going to have the glasses. And the potential is incredible."

He added, "It's going to happen, it's coming very soon."

Amon also told CNBC that Qualcomm did not expect to produce modems for Apple's new iPhone in 2024, suggesting that the tech giant's highly-anticipated move into in-house products may be approaching.

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