Vivienne Sze, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( MIT ) gave a presentation recently which was probably the most important one of her life yet.
Sze has her own lab at the MIT where she, along with her colleagues, developed what might be the next major breakthrough in the field of Artificial Intelligence. We’re not talking about the software front, but rather the hardware.
This conference isn’t like any other typical tech conference. The MARS conference is a very secretive conference hosted by the Amazon founder and chairman, Jeff Bezos, where some of the most high-profile scientists, researches, CEOs and entrepreneurs were invited. Sze called it a very “high-caliber audience”.
New chips are being designed like the ones at Sze’s lab. She calls hers as Eyeriss which she developed in collaboration with Joe Elmar who is a research scientist at Nvidia and a professor at MIT. These new chips enhance the overall capability of the AI programme and also the algorithms. Also, These microchips are backed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program of the American Government.
After the race to get to the moon first, AI seems like the next competition between countries. No doubt America does not wish to fall behind and thus is heavily investing in it.
These microchips, unlike the traditional cards, are much smaller and are in fact much more efficient as they are specifically designed for this particular purpose. This, if brought into the mainstream, might just make automated robots and other AI driven facilities very common.
The potential for AI is immense. This will also rise up to be the next go-to market for big corporations. Google, Microsoft, and Amazon are all working on their specialized chips for AI. It’s even more important for the focus to be laid on power efficiency instead of harnessing raw power.
A major challenge right now is developing a software that can then run other users’ program effectively and makes the chip flexible enough to actually adapt to the various situations. Her presentation was not as attractive as a drone flying near her in the conference, but it would worth the pain.