24 April, 2017
The Race To Build An AI Chip For Everything Just Got Real
YANN LECUN ONCE built an AI chip called ANNA. But he was 25 years ahead of his time.
The year was 1992, and LeCun was a researcher at Bell Labs, the iconic R&D lab outside New York City. He and several other researchers designed this chip to run deep neural networks—complex mathematical systems that can learn tasks on their own by analyzing vast amounts of data—but ANNA never reached the mass market. Neural networks were pretty good at recognizing letters and numbers scrawled onto personal checks and envelopes, but they didn’t work all that well when performing other tasks, at least not in any practical sense.