How Artificial Intelligence makes your phone better (video & podcast)

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If you’ve been using smartphones for the past quinquennial or even more, you’ll understand exactly where this is coming from. I’m sorry, but if you’re on your first or second smartphone, you were already born into this to begin with.

You see, going back in time all the way to the Nokia 808 PureView, it was the phone that revolutionized smartphone photography. It was the first mobile device on the market with a whopping 40MP camera sensor. The Nokia Lumia 1020 followed, with the same size sensor and Zeiss lens.

The competition didn’t catch up for quite some time, but that moment in time was when the race for megapixels has started. Regardless of make or model, all smartphone manufacturers started cramming more and more megapixels into their offerings, up to a point where it all stopped.

Qualcomm Sensing HUB

You see, how come a modern smartphone today can take better pictures with a 12MP sensor than one back in the day with a much larger sensor, or even a modern mirrorless camera? The answer is simple, but the technology is rather complicated: it’s because of AI (Artificial Intelligence).

We sat down with Ziad Asghar, Qualcomm‘s Vice President of Product Management to talk about how Artificial Intelligence makes your phone better, and in ways you might have not even suspected.

It’s not just photography, though that’s the most visible part of the impact of Artificial Intelligence for the average user in day to day usage. Whether it materializes in achieving and/or maintaining focus, distinguishing between subject (and objects), recognizing faces, identifying textures, setting the proper white balance and exposure, triggering HDR, taking several shots at different exposures and then stitching them together, you name it.

Yes, filters you use on your popular social media platforms also rely on AI to detect your face in order to apply those lovely effects…

Qualcomm’s flagship SoC, the Snapdragon 888 Plus, dubbed “the beast” internally, is so powerful that it can capture 120 12MP pictures within one single second, which is 2.6GP (gigapixels).

artificial intelligence

Ai is also responsible for the little things you might not even notice, like detecting when you are driving and triggering different modes, or not allowing the user to do certain things while driving. Tell us in the comments below how many of you knew that Spotify switching to a Driving Mode was actually an AI-enabled feature?

Even the simplest task on a smartphone, the one we use less and less, phone calls, greatly benefit from AI, in the way that your device captures audio, analyzes it, and reduces noise and echo.

Other applications include Natural Language Processing, whether that’s your phone being capable of understanding what you say and executing the commands, or just simply taking what you say and translating that in real time to another language so that you an be understood.

What’s even more impressive is what Qualcomm has done with the so called Sensing Hub, where the phone is constantly aware of its surroundings and can act accordingly, whether recognizing what the user is doing, or by simply having it laid down on the table. A great example Ziad talks about is having the phone on the table at night and it recognizing the sound of a child crying, to immediately alert someone of it.

There are many other things AI can do and Ziad talks about it at length. Without giving it all away, we encourage you to watch the video below (shorter) or listen to the entire conversation (longer) to learn about all the things AI is responsible for, and how Qualcomm continuously strives to improve your user experience. In the end, AI is the superhero of the team we credit the least…



Anton is the Editor-in-Chief of Pocketnow. As publication leader, he aims to bring Pocketnow even closer to you. His vision is mainly focused on, and oriented towards, the audience. Anton’s ambition, adopted by the entire team, is to transform Pocketnow into a reference media outlet.

Contact: [email protected]

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