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Chinese School Aims to Build Pocket-sized Computer Brain

Apr 10, 2017     Email"> PrintText Size

Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) is pouring money into an ambitious plan to develop a pocket-size artificial intelligence (AI) computer.

Amid the hoopla surrounding AlphaGo's upcoming match with a Chinese Go board game master in May, researchers at the school are attempting to fit enormous amounts of computing power onto tiny chips – a feat that so far no one in the world has ever achieved.

An AI algorithm will be built into a chip called "Cambicron," which researchers hope to one day put in mobile phones and smart watches.

Google's AI program AlphaGo needs huge power and large servers to operate. CAS wants the same level of performance running on just one watt of power, according to Chen Yunji of the CAS Institute of Computing Technology.

On Friday, CAS said it would invest 10 million yuan (1.4 million U.S. dollars) in the project.

If successful, "Cambicron" will be the world's first processor that simulates human nerve cells and synapses to achieve "deep learning," CAS said.

The program gets its name from the Cambricon Period, which marked a rapid diversification of lifeforms on earth.

The statement said the money would be spent on research on the structure and algorithm of the next generation of AI, which will lay the foundation for China's ambition in the global chip market. (CGTN)

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