Targeting artificial intelligence: Lenovo to invest additional $1B over 3 years

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Lenovo, the world’s top sellers of PCs and supercomputers, is broadening its investment in the fast-growing field of artificial intelligence.

Already deeply committed to AI deployments and services, the global tech firm announced Wednesday augmented AI efforts as it continues to diversify away from PCs – still Lenovo’s “bread and butter” as CEO and chair Yang Yuanqing describes that business.

Lenovo sees opportunities in the emerging generative AI market (think ChatGPT), computer vision (such as emerging mixed, virtual and augmented devices), voice AI and virtual assistants. Over the past year at Yang’s direction Lenovo has also increased its recruiting of employees for stepped-up research-and-development even as it cut overall costs by more than $200 million and made some layoffs.

The Lenovo AI expansion is an industry trend with Microsoft, Google and a host of other companies seeking to capitalizing on growing interest among customers and users worldwide. Cary-based SAS is also ratcheting up AI spending/

SAS says it’s investing $1B over next three years in AI products, technology

For its fiscal year ending March 31, Lenovo, which operates headquarters in the Triangle and Beijing, reported $62 billion in revenue and net income of $1.6 billion as non-PC revenues grew to nearly 40% of the company’s sales.

The additional spending includes $100 million for Lenovo’s year-old AI Innovators program. More than what Lenovo calls “cutting edge AI solutions” have emerged from the effort which includes “45 leading ISV [independent software vendors] partners.”

Overall, the AI and related programs in the Infrastructure Solutions Group produced a record $9.8 billion in revenue for the last fiscal year.

“Building on our more than 150 AI solutions, this pivotal investment further expands the development of AI-ready infrastructure solutions that will help customers overcome deployment complexities and more easily implement AI to deliver transformative services and products to the market,” said Kirk Skaugen, president of Lenovo Infrastructure Solutions Group, in the announcement.

“As we continue our path to become the world’s largest end-to-end infrastructure solutions provider, Lenovo is committed to being the most trusted partner and empowering our customers’ intelligent transformation by bringing AI to the source of their data, at the edge,” Skaugen added.

Lenovo management’s decision about AI expansion comes after AI related infrastructure revenues have reached more than $2 billion.

“The investment will further expand the company’s industry-leading AI-ready portfolio of smart devices, infrastructure solutions and services to help accelerate innovation, enabling the use of generative AI and delivering cognitive decisions at scale throughout remote locations across financial, manufacturing, healthcare, retail and smart city applications,” Lenovo said.