A lot of basic functions that we humans perform are now being replicated by machines, and they sometimes do a better job than us. They were just machines until the artificial intelligence and neural networks started touching the new heights. Now, even the human brain seems to be going redundant. Not because humans are the ones developing artificial intelligence, but Intel just announced its latest chip with a design that is inspired by the human brain.
The chip called “Loihi” is experimental and uses a technology “neuromorphic” that has not been proven yet. However, it is said to replace the traditional logic gates with “spiking neurons” as the fundamental computing unit. The Loihi chip contains about 130,000 of these simulated neurons that move in a way similar to our brain neurons. While it uses a similar idea, the complexity does not even reach near the human brains that have about 80-billion neurons.
The design of Loihi uses the human brain as a base model to increase the machine learning speed while minimizing the power requirements. Our brains communicate information using pulses that are relayed between the brain and the body through a complex neural network. The system shares the energy among groups and no cell functions alone.
As scientists work tirelessly to improve artificial intelligence, the kind that can learn on its own without being taught first, Intel seems to be getting closer. The company says,
“The test chip [has] enormous potential to improve automotive and industrial applications as well as personal robots.”
In theory, the neuromorphic technology sounds wonderful, but it has not yet proven itself when compared to the deep learning technology that we have today. Intel and IBM are leading the computing world with their work on revolutionary technologies. IBM recently built a neuromorphic chip “TrueNorth” with 4,096 processors and 256-million synapses.
Intel plans to develop Loihi to its best potential for which they are looking into sharing it with “leading university and research institutions” for the sake of testing. Intel will create these chips with their 14-nanometer process technology and allow research institutions to get their hands on them for further development.