Google is using AI to design its next generation of AI chips more quickly than humans can

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The algorithms were used to design an upcoming version of Google’s TPU chips. Pictured above is TPUv2, announced in 2017. | Image: Google

Google is using machine learning to help design its next generation of machine learning chips. The algorithm’s designs are “comparable or superior” to those created by humans, say Google’s engineers, but can be generated much, much faster. According to the tech giant, work that takes months for humans can be accomplished by AI in under six hours.

Google has been working on how to use machine learning to create chips for years, but this recent effort — described this week in a paper in the journal Natureseems to be the first time its research has been applied to a commercial product: an upcoming version of Google’s own TPU (tensor processing unit) chips, which are optimized for AI computation.

“Our method has been used in production...

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