A battery-like device could act as an artificial synapse within computing systems intended to imitate the brain’s efficiency and ability to learn.
The brain’s capacity for simultaneously learning and memorizing large amounts of information while requiring little energy has inspired an entire field to pursue brain-like – or neuromorphic – computers. Researchers at Stanford University and Sandia National Laboratories previously developed one portion of such a computer: a device that acts as an artificial synapse, mimicking the way neurons communicate in the brain.
In a paper published online by the journal Science on April 25, the team reports that a prototype array of nine of these devices performed even better than expected in processing speed, energy efficiency, reproducibility and durability.
Looking forward, the team members want to combine their artificial synapse with traditional electronics, which they hope could be a step toward supporting artificially intelligent learning on small devices.
“If you have a memory system that can learn with the energy efficiency and speed that we’ve presented, then you can put that in a smartphone or laptop,” said Scott Keene, co-author of the paper and a graduate student in the lab of Alberto Salleo, professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford who is co-senior author. “That would open up access to the ability to train our own networks and solve problems locally on our own devices without relying on data transfer to do so.”
A bad battery, a good synapse
The team’s artificial synapse is similar to a battery, modified so that the researchers can dial up or down the flow of electricity between the two terminals. That flow of electricity emulates how learning is wired in the brain. This is an especially efficient design because data processing and memory storage happen in one action, rather than a more traditional computer system where the data is processed first and then later moved to storage.
Seeing how these devices perform in an array is a crucial step because it allows the researchers to program several artificial synapses simultaneously. This is far less time consuming than having to program each synapse one-by-one and is comparable to how the brain actually works.
In previous tests of an earlier version of this device, the researchers found their processing and memory action requires about one-tenth as much energy as a state-of-the-art computing system needs in order to carry out specific tasks. Still, the researchers worried that the sum of all these devices working together in larger arrays could risk drawing too much power. So, they retooled each device to conduct less electrical current – making them much worse batteries but making the array even more energy efficient.
When we saw everything light up, it was like a Christmas tree. That was the most exciting moment.
Postdoc, Salleo lab
The 3-by-3 array relied on a second type of device – developed by Joshua Yang at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, who is co-author of the paper – that acts as a switch for programming synapses within the array.
“Wiring everything up took a lot of troubleshooting and a lot of wires. We had to ensure all of the array components were working in concert,” said Armantas Melianas, a postdoctoral scholar in the Salleo lab. “But when we saw everything light up, it was like a Christmas tree. That was the most exciting moment.”
During testing, the array outperformed the researchers’ expectations. It performed with such speed that the team predicts the next version of these devices will need to be tested with special high-speed electronics. After measuring high energy efficiency in the 3-by-3 array, the researchers ran computer simulations of a larger 1024-by-1024 synapse array and estimated that it could be powered by the same batteries currently used in smartphones or small drones. The researchers were also able to switch the devices over a billion times – another testament to its speed – without seeing any degradation in its behavior.
“It turns out that polymer devices, if you treat them well, can be as resilient as traditional counterparts made of silicon. That was maybe the most surprising aspect from my point of view,” Salleo said. “For me, it changes how I think about these polymer devices in terms of reliability and how we might be able to use them.”
Room for creativity
The researchers haven’t yet submitted their array to tests that determine how well it learns but that is something they plan to study. The team also wants to see how their device weathers different conditions – such as high temperatures – and to work on integrating it with electronics. There are also many fundamental questions left to answer that could help the researchers understand exactly why their device performs so well.
“We hope that more people will start working on this type of device because there are not many groups focusing on this particular architecture, but we think it’s very promising,” Melianas said.
The Latest on: Artificially intelligent learning
via Google News
The Latest on: Artificially intelligent learning
- Artificial Intelligence Chipset Market Anticipated to Witness a CAGR of 33.6% From 2019 to 2025 | Grand View Research, Inc.on December 14, 2019 at 4:50 am
New types of hardware/semiconductor accelerators are being introduced with the rapid evolution in artificial intelligence with machine learning and deep learning. The global artificial intelligence ...
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) In Supply Chain And Logistics Market Analysis by Recent Developments and Business Outlook 2019on December 13, 2019 at 9:03 pm
Global Artificial Intelligence (AI) In Supply Chain And Logistics Market Split by Product Type and Applications: Market Segment by Type, covers: Articial neural networks Machine learning Other https:/ ...
- Empowering Telecom Industry with Artificial Intelligenceon December 13, 2019 at 3:51 pm
Artificial Intelligence is one of such technologies that have the potential to fundamentally ... VA’s are designed on the basis of advanced AI technologies — deep learning and neural networks.
- Joint Artificial Intelligence Center Director Tells Naval War College Audience to 'Dive In' on AIon December 13, 2019 at 11:17 am
Jack Shanahan, director of the Department of Defense Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, talked to U.S. Naval War College students ... a Defense Department program using machine learning to ...
- National Football League and Amazon Web Services Team Up to Transform Player Health and Safety Using Cloud Computing and Artificial Intelligenceon December 13, 2019 at 10:34 am
The partnership aims to leverage AWS’s artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) services to provide a deeper and more profound understanding of the game than ever before, making ...
- Accenture Agrees to Acquire Clarity Insights, Boosting Artificial Intelligence Impact for Clients in North Americaon December 13, 2019 at 10:32 am
CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Accenture (NYSE: ACN) has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Clarity Insights, a U.S.-based data consultancy with deep data science, artificial ...
- Are We Ready For The First Patent Filed By Artificial Intelligence?on December 13, 2019 at 12:49 am
“Should a company who trains the artificial intelligence process that creates the invention be able to be an owner ... “should assessment of the level of ordinary skill in the art reflect the ...
- Group Says 72% Gender Gap In Artificial Intelligence Industry Could Worsen Historic Gender Biason December 12, 2019 at 4:54 pm
learning.” Artificial intelligence generally refers to using computer systems and algorithms to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as for recruiting and hiring employees. The ...
- Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales is Taking on Facebook and the Dangers Lurking in the Rise of Artificial Intelligenceon December 12, 2019 at 2:00 am
In recent years, Facebook has been using artificial intelligence to make inferences about users ... And it turns out that through machine-learning and AI, they've designed very addictive machines to ...
- Artificial Intelligence Isn’t an Arms Raceon December 11, 2019 at 5:36 pm
Argument: Artificial Intelligence Isn’t an Arms Race Artificial Intelligence Isn’t an Arms ... The arms race framework raises the question of what one is racing toward. Machine learning, the AI ...
via Bing News