RMIT scientists have developed a new ultra-thin, black phosphorous AI chip that functions when powered by light.
According to the study’s team lead and associate professor Sumeet Walia, the new optogenetics-inspired technology brings together imaging, processing, machine learning and memory within the confines a single chip.
This is path-breaking as it could lead to smarter and smaller autonomous technologies like drones and robotics, artificial retinas and smart wearables.
It could also pave way for the ultimate in electronics: a brain-on-a-chip that can learn from its environment just like we do.
“Our new technology radically boosts efficiency and accuracy by bringing multiple components and functionalities into a single platform,” explains Walia. “It’s getting us closer to an all-in-one AI device inspired by nature’s greatest computing innovation – the human brain.”
“Our aim is to replicate a core feature of how the brain learns, through imprinting vision as memory. The prototype we’ve developed is a major leap forward towards neurorobotics, better technologies for human-machine interaction and scalable bionic systems.”
According to Walia, integrating electronic hardware and AI together, could lead to faster on-site decisions:
“Imagine a dash cam in a car that’s integrated with our neuro-inspired hardware – this means it can recognize lights, signs, objects and make instant decisions, without having to connect to the internet.”
According to study lead author Dr Taimur Ahmed, the new AI chip changes electrical resistance in response to different wavelengths of light.
This is faster, more accurate and requires far less energy than existing technologies: It can capture and automatically enhance images, classify numbers, and be trained to recognize patterns and images with an accuracy rate of over 90%.
It is also compatible with existing electronics and silicon technologies, ensuring effortless integration in the near future.
Content and image: Gosia Kaszubska-RMIT