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AI on Edge

By Samuel Greengard

Communications of the ACM, Vol. 63 No. 9, Pages 18-20

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A remarkable thing about artificial intelligence (AI) is how rapidly and dramatically it has crept into the mainstream of society. Automobiles, robots, smartphones, televisions, smart speakers, wearables, buildings, and industrial systems have all gained features and capabilities that would have once seemed futuristic. Today, they can see, they can listen, and they can sense. They can make decisions that approximate—and sometimes exceed—human thought, behavior, and actions.

Yet, for all the remarkable advancements, there's a pesky reality: smart devices could still be a whole lot more intelligent—and tackle far more difficult tasks. What's more, as the Internet of Things (IoT) takes shape, the need for low latency and ultra-low energy sensors with on-board processing is vital. Without this framework, "Systems must depend on distant clouds and data centers to process data. The full value of AI cannot be realized," says Mahadev Satyanarayanan, Carnegie Group Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.


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