It was a big deal two and a half years ago when researchers shrunk down an image-recognition program to fit onto a $5 computer the size of a candy bar — and now it’s an even bigger deal for Xnor.ai to re-engineer its artificial intelligence software to fit onto a solar-powered computer chip.
“To us, this is as big as when somebody invented a light bulb,” Xnor.ai’s co-founder, Ali Farhadi, said at the company’s Seattle headquarters.
Like the candy-bar-sized, Raspberry Pi-powered contraption, the camera-equipped chip flashes a signal when it sees a person standing in front of it. But the chip itself isn’t the point. The point is that Xnor.ai has figured out how to blend stand-alone, solar-powered hardware and edge-based AI to turn its vision of “artificial intelligence at your fingertips” into a reality.
“This is a key technology milestone, not a product,” Farhadi explained.