Belgian Imec creates first self-learning chip
The Belgian research institute Imec (Leuven) has created a working self-learning chip, a world first they claim. “It learns like a child”, Imec researcher Diederik Verkest says. Self learning computers already exist, but they are using enormous amounts of calculating power and energy. Imec succeeded in implementing existing memory-technology into a chip.
Classic chips only repeat what a programmer has installed. That will no longer be necessary. “The chip can analyze massive data streams to recognize patterns and build further on it, just like a child does”, Verkest explains. They even learned the chip to make its own music by analyzing minuets. “Off course the music it creates will resemble the music we programmed. It won’t start making hip-hop”.
According to Imec there is lots of research worldwide into self-learning chips inspired by the human brain. “But we are the first to come with a demo version”, Verkest says. The chip will see future applications especially in managing large data streams like traffic streams, which could deliver the artificial intelligence (AI) needed for self-driving cars for instance.
Other domains are health care applications were chips like this could be build into a sensor monitoring hart beats and trigger an alarm when arrhythmia is detected.