Re-using chip designs to perform the methods used for AI applications. Now new chip designs are in play.
Intel Looks to a New Chip to Power the Coming Age of AI
Microsoft Researchers recently built an artificially intelligent system that seems to recognize conversational speech as effectively as a human. Yes, this research comes with caveats, but it’s part of a very real and very rapid leap in artificial intelligence over the past several years, a leap driven by deep neural networks.
These sweepingly complex algorithms can teach themselves very particular tasks by analyzing vast amounts of data. Microsoft’s system learned to recognize words by looking for patterns in old tech support calls. But it’s not just the algorithms that are driving the recent revolution in AI. It’s also the hardware behind these algorithms. Microsoft’s speech rec system relies on large farms of GPU processors, chips that were originally designed for rendering graphics but have proven remarkably adept at running artificial intelligence models. ....
Internet giants like Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Baidu typically train their deep neural nets using GPUs. But they’re moving towards other, more specialized chips that can help accelerate not just the training but the execution of these systems. Google recently built its own AI processor. IBM is building another.
So Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, is doing the same. Yesterday, the company unveiled a new AI processor called Nervana, saying it plans on testing prototypes by the middle of next year, and if all goes well, a finished chip will come to market by the end of 2017. At the moment, the market for AI chips is dominated by nVidia, the primary supplier of GPUs. ... "