16 MAR 2018

Intel, drones, quantum and neuromorphic chips, artificial intelligence becomes ever more performing

There are various definitions of artificial intelligence, one of them which is recapitulatory states that AI is the ability of a computer to carry out activities and reasonings that are a prerogative of the human mind. AI is connected to the automatic learning, that is the discipline that allows objects that have AI to automatically improve (thanks to specific algorithms) their performances based on their past experience. In recent years AI is developing ever more thanks to two very important factors:

  • the presence of an infinite number of data,
  • the presence of increasingly powerful machines that are able to analyze this data in a short time and above all are able to provide very reliable results; thanks to this, predictive analytics is every day more precise.

Artificial intelligence is declined in driverless cars, robots of all kinds, passing through the myriad of “intelligent objects” of the Internet of Things from which, by now, we are surrounded. The spread of IoT will be unstoppable, despite the awareness that these objects are intelligent, but not sure, because, in most cases, they do not have strong systems of data and access management. However, the diffusion of intelligent objects cannot be stopped, Gartner estimates that by 2020 we will have over 25 billion objects connected to the internet and each of us will wear at least 15 sensors every day. We will produce data by walking, precisely 1.5 GB of daily data produced by each of us. But what can we do with all this data? In addition to creating technologies that can store, analyze and turn it into information that can help companies plan their strategies, it is possible to think on new businesses, companies that sell data-driven services.

From CES 2018 to Winter Olympic Games 2018: Intel and artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence, as an extremely current topic, was the common thread of CES 2018 and the stand which contained all the technological innovations of CES was undoubtedly that of Intel. Already in its opening keynote, Intel showed how much artificial intelligence can do: the band “Algorithm and Blues”, using Intel RealSense technology, played a pop repertoire using only gestures and virtual instruments.

La band "Algorithm and blues" realizzata da Intel che si esibisce al keynote del CES 2018

Besides, artificial intelligence can be implemented for the benefit of virtual and immersive reality. Another technology presented by Intel was “True View” which could revolutionize the storytelling of sporting events and cinematography. This technology has already been used during the Winter Olympic Games that recently ended in Pyeongchang County, South Korea.

The athletes wore sensors that showed viewers exactly what the athletes were experiencing. During CES 2018 Ferrari and Intel had presented their collaboration to bring artificial intelligence in the Ferrari Challenge North America Series. Thanks to the processing power of the scalable Intel Xeon processors and the neon framework for deep learning, it is going to be possible to show viewers what pilots are living using streaming. From sporting events to cinematography, Intel and Paramount Pictures are in contact to land this new technology in Hollywood.

All this is linked to the slogan of Intel: “Be the actor”: the viewer is no longer just a simple observer, but he may become a real actor, may live the scene as if he was the protagonist finding obstacles or problems in front of him or relished surprises and thanks to 360° cameras for which Intel is working on, the viewer may move in the scene to live it even more on his skin.

Neuromorphic and quantum chips

Intel news does not end here. In fact, the US multinational is working on neuromorphic chips with “Loihi”. The chip, just like the human brain that wants to imitate, studies the model to find the best solution for its resolution. Thanks to this chip, that now is still only a project, people will have much better processor performance and energy efficiency will be 1000 times better.

However, Intel is focusing on quantum chips, essential for AI. A quantum computer is a computer that exploits the laws of physics and quantum mechanics for data processing and uses not the classical bit as a fundamental unit, but the qubit. A quantum computer is able to process at the same time, because it operates in parallel, more solutions to a single problem, unlike traditional computers that have to perform calculations in sequence. During CES 2018, Intel presented the first 49-qubit chip, only a few months before it had presented 17-qubit chip version.

Il chip quantico realizzato da Intel e presentato al CES 2018

Drones: from Volocopter to tricks of the light

We must mention the progress made by Intel with drones. During CES 2018 Volocopter was presented, Volocopter is an electric drone that lands and takes off vertically with Intel Falcon 8+ intelligence, it can be used for the transport of passengers. Besides, Intel showed its drones with Shooting Star technology, it is about swarms of drones flying in the sky and forming beautiful tricks of the light. People could admire the show during Intel keynote at CES 2018, when the drones without GPS, but in communication between them in order to coordinate each other, flew above people who participated in the keynote and who were enraptured and during the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games.

Artificial intelligence, that is, is making giant strides, it is becoming increasingly intelligent even if we are still very far from human brain levels. As it evolves, however, it will change our everyday life helping us and making us ever more intelligent and performing.

Elaborated by Lucia D’Adamo, supervised by Marco Pirrone