Powering the brains of tomorrow’s intelligent machines

TechCrunch | 7/19/2019 | Staff
DanRules394 (Posted by) Level 3
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Shahin Farshchi is a partner at Lux Capital.

Sense and compute are the electronic eyes and ears that will be the ultimate power behind automating menial work and encouraging humans to cultivate their creativity.

Capabilities - Machines - Talent - Investors - Financing

These new capabilities for machines will depend on the best and brightest talent and investors who are building and financing companies aiming to deliver the AI chips destined to be the neurons and synapses of robotic brains.

Like any other herculean task, this one is expected to come with big rewards. And it will bring with it big promises, outrageous claims, and suspect results. Right now, it’s still the Wild West when it comes to measuring AI chips up against each other.

Remember - Shopping - Apple - Cores - Buses

Remember laptop shopping before Apple made it easy? Cores, buses, gigabytes and GHz have given way to “Pro” and “Air.” Not so for AI chips.

Roboticists are struggling to make heads and tails out of the claims made by AI chip companies. Every passing day without autonomous cars puts more lives at risk of human drivers. Factories want humans to be more productive while out of harm’s way. Amazon wants to get as close as possible to Star Trek’s replicator by getting products to consumers faster.

Component - AI - Chips - Power - Engineer

A key component of that is the AI chips that will power them. A talented engineer making a bet on her career to build AI chips, an investor looking to underwrite the best AI chip company, and AV developers seeking the best AI chips, need objective measures to make important decisions that can have huge consequences.

A metric that gets thrown around frequently is TOPS, or trillions of operations per second, to measure performance. TOPS/W, or trillions of operations per second per Watt, is used to measure energy efficiency. These metrics are as ambiguous as they sound.

Operations

What are the operations being performed...
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