Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) was one of the electives I took during my undergraduate studies. Then I couldn’t understood the importance and scope of ANN, but with current advancement in technology, both in hardware and software, has made me realize the importance of ANN. Any technological breakthrough requires at par innovation in software and hardware domain, and ANN has found its way into both these domains.
ANN In Hardware:
Software requires an excellent architecture to run on and recently IBM research announced brain-inspired processor. IBM claims that the chip consumes merely 70 milliwatts, and is capable of 46 billion synaptic operations per second, per watt–literally a synaptic supercomputer in your palm. Such chip are called as neuromorphic chip, that makes heavy use of ANN to solve complex problems in similar manner as a human brain would.
ANN In Software:
To fully utilize any computer architecture, it requires smart software written by smart programmers. But with the help of ANN and artificial intelligence, Google is trying to achieve something unimaginable: they want to get rid of programmers. They want computers to program themselves on the go and come up with solutions to problems that would otherwise require human intervention. They call such machine: Neural Turing Machine.
Both these innovation in software and hardware bring out an old and very important debate of “technological singularity.“ Ray Kurzweil in his book, “The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology“, predicted many future technological outcomes, and how they will supersede human. So far, many of those predictions has been true, and above two innovations are in line with those. The dark side of technological singularity would be that new technologies will be so powerful, that they will transcend the current limits of our understanding.
So, the question is: The Technological Singularity Is Here?