SWITZERLAND - ‘Brain-like’ Chip Promises Greener AI

Arno Froese

Concerns have been raised about emissions associated with warehouses full of computers powering AI systems.

IBM said its prototype could lead to more efficient, less battery draining AI chips for smartphones.

Its efficiency is down to components that work in a similar way to connections in human brains, it said.

Compared to traditional computers, “the human brain is able to achieve remarkable performance while consuming little power,” said scientist Thanos Vasilopoulos, based at IBM’s research lab in Zurich, Switzerland.

He told the BBC the superior energy efficiency would mean “large and more complex workloads could be executed in low power or battery-constrained environments,” for example, cars, mobile phones and cameras. 

“Additionally, cloud providers will be able to use these chips to reduce energy costs and their carbon footprint,” he added. 

Most chips are digital, meaning they store information as 0s and 1s, but the new chip uses components called memristors [memory resistors] that are analogue and can store a range of numbers.

You can think of the difference between digital and analogue as like the difference between a light switch and a dimmer switch.

The human brain is analogue, and the way memristors work is similar to the way synapses in the brain work.

Prof Ferrante Neri, from the University of Surrey, explains that memristors fall into the realm of what you might call nature-inspired computing that mimics brain function.

Professor of IT at the University of Bath, James Davenport, said IBM’s finding were “potentially interesting” but warned that the chip was not an “easy to use” solution to the problem but more like “a possible 
first step.”

-www.bbc.com, 10 August 2023

Arno's Commentary

There is no turning back; science is well on its way to building a human-like artificial brain. While this brain-like chip is in the developing stages, it’s only a matter of when and how it will be implemented. We note that “greener AI” is the driving force; mankind is convinced that the environment needs saving. Yes, the world and the ocean need saving, but all that will fail in the end. Here the words of Jesus are applicable: “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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