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Cisco launches $1 billion AI investment fund

Cisco launches $1 billion AI investment fund

AI Investment

Cisco has announced a $1 billion investment fund focused on expanding and developing AI products and technologies. The company made the announcement during the Cisco Live event in Las Vegas. Mark Patterson, Cisco’s EVP and Chief Strategy Officer, highlighted AI’s transformative potential.

AI will fundamentally change every industry around the globe,” Patterson said during a press event.

He was joined by Vijoy Pandey, SVP of Outshift, and Derek Idemoto, SVP of Corporate Development and Cisco Investments, in discussing the company’s strategic vision. Cisco has already committed nearly $200 million from this fund.

The company plans to support AI technologies by developing its own products, investing in AI companies, and forming AI-focused partnerships. Cohere, Mistral AI, and Scale AI are among the initial recipients of these investments. This is what the AI fund is for – to go bigger and go faster,” said Derek Idemoto.

He stressed the importance of partnerships in this effort. Idemoto also noted that AI is set to “melt into the network,” opening up new business opportunities.

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Cisco’s $1 billion AI investment

During a keynote session, Jeetu Patel, Cisco’s EVP and GM of Security and Collaboration, emphasized the increasing complexity of cybersecurity due to AI advancements. While AI tools can enhance network security, they also introduce new challenges as attackers can exploit them. “AI is changing everything,” Patel said.

However, he added that AI could help defenders gain an advantage. In discussing strategies to improve cybersecurity, Patel emphasized the importance of assuming an attacker has already breached the system. Security is a data problem,” he said, highlighting the need for swift response and patching vulnerabilities.

Addressing competition in the cybersecurity sector, particularly from hyperscalers like Microsoft, Patel underscored the necessity of collaboration. “The true enemy is the adversary, not the competitor,” he asserted, advocating for shared practices to strengthen overall security. Cisco also announced a collaboration with Nvidia to develop a simplified platform for data centers, focusing on generative AI applications.

This on-premises solution aims to simplify the design, deployment, and monitoring of AI workloads. Cisco intends to start trials in Q4, with general availability to follow.

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