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SNS: The Bleeding Edge of AI

SNS: The Bleeding Edge of AI


In This Issue
Week of 1/21/2019
Vol. 24 Issue 2

SNS: The Bleeding Edge of AI

A FiRe 2018 Conversation with Tom Conte, Lorien Pratt, and Joseph Smarr

Hosted by Russ Daggatt

  • About Tom Conte
  • About Lorien Pratt
  • About Joseph Smarr
  • About Russ Daggatt


Publisher’s Note: In the last few years, the SNS FiRe conference has evolved into a sort of incubator for new systems, ideas, and understanding in advanced computing. This includes new chip concepts and designs, such as the SNS PRP (Pattern Recognition Processor), IBM’s True North, the KnuEdge processor, Micron’s (and Intel’s) new memory designs, AMD’s new GPUs, and others.

On the systems and programming level, participants have seen onstage the creation of what we’re calling Flow Systems and the very-high-level programming language called Pictorial Processing.

And, last but not least, the Pattern Computer system ( was born at FiRe and has since become one of the most amazing stories in advanced computing today. (Disclosure: As its founding CEO, I have an obvious bias on this topic.)

At FiRe 2018, we again moved the needle in some new ways, including the featured launch of a new company, Zoolingua, that will use AI to communicate with animals.

But in the midst of all this exciting change, there’s an obvious need for a higher-level, rational discussion about what “AI on the bleeding edge” really is and really is not. All of us involved in this world know that there are walls being hit (as you’ll see in the conversation below), returns on cycles or investment or power consumption that aren’t yet sustainable, and general issues with the shortcomings of “narrow AI” that most need our communal attention.

Finally, we also have a deep need to identify where we all want machine learning to go next, and for what purposes. While we marvel at AlphaZero’s performances in the game of Go, there are much more complex, more interesting, and more serious scientific and business applications waiting to be directly addressed. After all, what’s more complex – the game of Go, or a cell? No contest there.

In this week’s discussion, our members will have the delightful opportunity to learn from three global experts who sat together at our recent FiRe conference and discussed all of these questions with moderator Russ Daggatt.

If you are in any way involved in AI, you’ll be glad we were able to bring you this fireside chat. Drag your chair over, and fasten your seat belt. – mra


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