Computing power of iPhone would have cost $1 billion in 1970, says tech billionaire

  • The work that Apple and other technology companies are doing on artificial intelligence is "hugely important," Tom Siebel says.
  • Siebel spoke before Apple's widely anticipated product event.

The work that Apple and other tech companies are doing on artificial intelligence is "hugely important," tech billionaire Tom Siebel told CNBC on Tuesday.

"Think about the power they have in iPhone in your hand" for just hundreds of dollars, the chief executive of C3 loT said on "Squawk Alley" from the Delivering Alpha conference present by CNBC and Institutional Investor magazine. "That amount of computing would have cost approximately $1 billion in 1970."

"With the massive availability of storage, massive availability of extremely powerful processing capability, we're able to engage in a class of applications that were heretofore impossible ... [applications] generally called AI," he said.

Earlier this year, Apple expanded its team in Seattle to focus on artificial intelligence advances. The tech giant been publicly releasing its AI research in a machine learning blog.

Siebel spoke before Apple's widely anticipated product event Tuesday at its new campus where it's projected to unveil three new iPhones, among other products.

The company's expected high-end iPhone has also been rumored to make use of AI.

Before C3 loT, Siebel was chairman and CEO of Siebel Systems, which became a leader in application software with more than 4,500 corporate customers, and annual revenue in excess of $2 billion.

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