Intel CEO Pledges $300 Million To Build Diversity in Tech
Intel has a big vision for the future of computing, and the technology giant laid it out at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Tuesday. Beyond the innovations, part of Intel CEO Brian Krzanich's keynote address revealed a $300 million investment to encourage more diversity at his company and across the tech industry.
"The rise of new personal computing experiences, intelligent and connected devices, and the wearable revolution are redefining the relationship between consumers and technology. Our goal with Intel technology is to help solve real problems and enable experiences that are truly desired by people and businesses," Krzanich said.
"In order to do this, we must also do more to lead the growth of diversity and inclusion within the technology industry. Women and under-represented minorities will continue to play a greater role as consumers, influencers, creators and leaders."
Betting on the Future
We caught up with Roger Kay, principal analyst at Endpoint Technologies Associates, to get his thoughts on the keynote. He told us Krzanich is being true to Intel form.
"He is articulating a vision of the future -- which just happens to involve a lot of Intel parts -- and then trying to make it real through investment, development work, partnerships and jawboning," Kay said. "None of the elements of his vision are particularly startling. Mainly, Intel wants to make sure it doesn't get left behind in the Internet of Things the way it did in high mobility."
For starters, Krzanich unveiled a wearable device collaboration with Oakley, a 3-D collaboration with Hewlett-Packard, and highlighted True Key, a new cross-platform application by Intel Security.
Also among the announcements were the Intel Curie module, a button-sized hardware product for wearable solutions, and new applications for Intel RealSense cameras spanning robots, flying multi-copter drones, and 3-D immersive experiences.
All About Wearables
Let's start with the Intel Curie module, which is a hardware product based on the firm's first purpose-built system-on-chip (SoC) for wearable devices. The module is scheduled to ship in the second half of 2015 and includes the Intel Quark SE SoC, Bluetooth low-energy radio, sensors and battery charging. As part of its wearables strategy, Intel and Oakley announced a new collaboration to blend premium, luxury eyewear with smart technology.
Meanwhile, Nixie, which has bragging rights as the 2014 "Make it Wearable" challenge winner and the first wearable camera that can fly, was also demoed. You wear Nixie on your wrist like a bracelet, but it unfolds and takes flight on command for a cutting-edge selfie.
Krzanich also showed off new bells and whistles that will make their way into products by the end of 2015. One of those products is True Key, a cross-platform application by Intel Security to address the hassle of passwords. The True Key application works by tapping into face, device, fingerprint and other personal factors to make logging in easier and safer.
Krzanich also highlighted new wireless charging collaborations and said RealSense
and new immersive applications can be found in a growing number of 2-in-1s, tablets, notebooks and all-in-one PCs, including many powered by the new fifth-generation Intel Core processors available this quarter.
Intel is also getting serious about diversity, with a new hiring and retention goal that aims to drive "full representation" of women and under-represented minorities at Intel by 2020. That means Intel's U.S. workforce will be more representative of the talent available in America, including more balanced representation in senior leadership positions.
Intel also pledged to invest $300 million to help build a pipeline of female and under-represented engineers and computer scientists. The monies will also actively support hiring and retaining more women and under-represented minorities and fund programs to support more positive representation within the technology and gaming industries.
"We're calling on our industry to again make the seemingly impossible possible by making a commitment to real change and clarity in our goals," Krzanich said. "Without a workforce that more closely mirrors the population, we are missing opportunities, including not understanding and designing for our own customers."
Image credit: Photo of CEO Brian Krzanich courtesy of Intel; Artist's Concept.
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Tell It Like It Is:
Posted: 2015-01-13 @ 12:49am PT
@Bob Craig: You're 100% right, but what you're saying is *so* not politically correct:
"Just hire the people that have the knowledge and training to invent. Make your company successful. Survive. Let the government worry about diversity."
Sorry, not allowed. At least not in the U.S.
Haven't you heard of Equal Opportunity Employment?
The uneducated have to be given the same job opportunities as the educated or it's just not fair.
Not fair at all.
Posted: 2015-01-11 @ 11:21am PT
I don't believe it. This isn't about diversity, it's about marketing the idea that Intel cares. Krzanich didn't wake up today and suddenly realize that he was surrounded by white males. He suddenly realized that his customers had noticed. $300 million is peanuts to Intel. They are valued at around $90 billion.
Posted: 2015-01-07 @ 12:05pm PT
I think that you should not have to worry about diversity in the wake of intense competition. Just hire the people that have the knowledge and training to invent. Make your company successful. Survive. Let the government worry about diversity.