Artificial intelligence is the future, but getting it to work as intended with IoT devices is challenging. This is because, at the moment, AI works best when it’s delivering information from the web, and that’s not always ideal.
Without an internet connection, most AI-based products today are useless, but that should change in the future as several companies are working to bring AI chips to market. Tesla is one such company, and the company’s founder and CEO, Elon Musk, is very excited about it.
Not too long ago, Elon Musk spoke about Tesla’s custom AI chips at NIPS, and there he told attendees that the chips his company is working on right now would be the best in the world when they’re ready for prime time.
“I wanted to make it clear that Tesla is serious about AI, both on the software and hardware fronts,” said Musk, according to The Register. “We are developing custom AI hardware chips.”
It would seem as if the rumors were right
Back in September of this year, a CNBC report claimed that the tech giant was in the process of building its own AI chip. Apparently, the company had up to 50 employees working on the project, and it included industry veterans such as Jim Keller.
For those who aren’t aware, Keller previously worked for Apple and AMD, and he joined Tesla back in January of 2016 as the company’s vice president of Autopilot Hardware Engineering. The decision to hire Keller was proof enough of what Elon Musk was planning, but it’s now coming to light.
Tesla moving to have an edge in self-driving cars
By having a custom chip that is all about artificial intelligence, the company could gain the advantage over its competitors in the long battle that is autonomous cars. Custom hardware could potentially offer improved performance where calculations and safety are concerned.
It’s a big deal right now, and it could go a long way to help autonomous vehicles reach mass market appeal in 40 years. By then, these cars should have little reliance on the cloud for when it’s time to travel around an entire country.
Several companies have already adopted custom AI chips
Apple has already done this with the A11 Bionic processor that is inside the iPhone X. So far, despite its limitations, it seems to work quite well. Furthermore, Huawei has done the same with its newest smartphone, but it has yet to prove its worth.
As for Google, the company has created its own custom AI chip to power it’s AI services that are in the cloud.
With these events happening, we might be very close to a level 5 autonomous car that just works.