MWC 2018

ARM Explains Why AI Is Not A Threat To Us, But An Auxiliary Brain

As artificial intelligence (AI) advances, its bringing technological intelligence closer to human intelligence. Some people are scared at the prospect of AI, what with warnings about the frailty of Earth and jobs in peril. But how grounded are these fears? We met Dennis Laudick, the VP of Marketing at ARM, leader in mobile processors, to talk about their take on AI and the future of machine learning and AI. #mwc18 #machinemagic

ARM is renowned for their CPUs and GPUs, the vast majority now being enabled on mobile devices. In addition, as AI becomes more commonplace in smartphones, the company has looked into how it can bring machine learning and AI technology to more smartphone users. With Project Trillium, the company strives to do just that, creating a scalable AI platform.

We talked about the project here – what it does, how it will be implemented, what developers and OEMs will be able to do with it. Catching Laudick at MWC 2018 was a prime opportunity to pick his brain and find out the thinking process behind it:

“[The] machine learning processor, this one we’ve designed from the ground-up specifically to support [this] type of processing and make sure it can push forward the capabilities of the devices in a power-efficient way. […] In addition to that, we’ve seen that […] when you’ve got a camera looking in space and people are in the scene, a lot of times that’s when the rest of the system wakes up. We’ve developed a processor specifically designed to achieve that in the most optimal way possible.”

A smartphone with machine learning can decode the world for you

Laudick continues, “Software is very, very important. So, as part of Project Trillium, we’ve announced and released a layer of software which makes it very easy for people to get from the common APIs and frameworks they’re used to down to the ARM hardware in the most efficient way possible”.

With Project Trillium, more people will be able to access AI and ML frameworks, but we were still curious. How helpful is machine learning for us? Could it be more of an assistant than a threat? 

Laudick definitely thinks so: “It can tell you more about what’s happening. One analogy is about a colleague, who is a diver. He says that one of the challenges he has is that when he’s underwater he sees some amazing things, some scary things and some he can’t understand. With machine learning, […] something small as a smartphone could decode all of that for him”

We got the sense that while sci-fi movies depict AI as a superior intelligence that is constantly trying to subjugate humans, in reality and in the tech world, AI is an auxiliary brain, trying to satisfy your needs before you pronounce them. Predictive learning is key in this equation, an idea Marcel Campos from Asus also talked about in our exclusive interview here.

“Predictive learning is trying to understand what a pattern is, trying to recognize what you do – the way you walk, you move around, how you spend your money”, added Dennis Laudick. He strongly believes neural networks are ways to approach problems today and get reliable feedback.

The trend (and challenge for many companies, still) is to do all of that in real time, by moving machine learning to the edge and out of data centers. We’ll see how will quickly this technology will develop in the years to come!

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