Telstra (ASX:TLS) share price edges lower amid new AI joint venture

A virtual army of new internet of things (IoT) devices are connected in Australia each week.

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The Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) share price is edging lower in morning trade, down 0.4% to $3.96 per share.

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is heading the other way, up 0.3% after briefly dipping into the red on opening.

That’s this morning’s price action.

Below we look at the telco giant’s latest foray into the world of artificial intelligence (AI).

What AI plans are in the pipeline?

According to Telstra’s head of product and technology, Kim Krogh Andersen, every week sees the company connect another 5,000 internet of things (IoT) devices. These range from ‘smart’ household appliances to broader home monitoring and environmental control systems.

As the Australian Financial Review reports, this vast amount of new data is driving a surge in demand for a limited supply of tech savvy employees.

Which brings us to Telstra’s new joint venture (JV) with data and analytics company Quantium, 75% owned Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW).

Telstra’s CEO, Andy Penn said the JV will speed up the telco’s adopted of AI, and aid in its recruitment efforts of tech talent “eager to work on some of the biggest data sets in the country”.

According to Penn (quoted by the AFR), “There is an absolute war for talent, and this talent in particular. But the single biggest defining difference is the data science problems that those people get to come and work on and to solve.”

Penn continued:

We will effectively identify the problems and the projects that we can work jointly on, and then we’ll apply our respective resources to go solve them. This is about accelerating what we’re already doing, but accelerating it by partnering with these guys, who are absolutely world-leading in the work that they’re doing.

Commenting on the JV with Telstra, Quantium’s CEO, Adam Driussi said, “What we need to be careful of is how we deploy our resources. So, we’re not looking to do one-off small projects with a whole series of clients. We’d rather have big, deep partnerships with leading brands and that’s the way that we can then really work on the biggest problems for those clients.”

Telstra share price snapshot

The Telstra share price is up 31% in 2021, compared to the 12% year-to-date gain posted by the ASX 200.

Over the past month, Telstra shares have gained 3%.

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The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Telstra Corporation Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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