Our smartphones will soon see as well as we do

The robots are starting to open their eyes. Last week, Google announced it was partnering with the chip manufacturer Movidius to put machine learning in mobile devices. Machine learning is a branch of artificial intelligence, where computers can be programmed to recognize patterns in data based on previous sets of data. It’s what allows IBM’s Watson to diagnose cancer patients and come up with recipe ideas, and part of what Facebook uses to recognize your face in photos. But most of these computations require sturdy internet connections to large servers to be able to sift through all the data. Movidius’s new chips, on the other hand, don’t require a lot of power to run. They can do complex computations right on the device they’re in, without help from servers. And…


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