Alibaba is setting up its own company that can produce customized artificial intelligence chips that can better support its Internet of Things (IOT). Reports say the company targets to release its first chip in 2019.
Alibaba envisions these new chips to be used in various areas of the society particularly in autonomous driving, smart spaces, and logistics. As one of the tech companies in China, Alibaba is in a unique position to lead a real breakthrough in disruptive areas such as quantum and chip technology.
By producing their own chip, Alibaba can reduce the costs of production and experimentation, and ensure that they have the appropriate hardware needed for the various implementations they will roll out in the future.
Implications for AI
One of the biggest areas of concern in AI development today is that there is no chip made yet that is flexible enough to support a self-learning machine. But this can change once Alibaba enters the chip industry, particularly because it has the data and the means to do so. With the fastest computer already found in China, and Alibaba making breakthroughs in algorithm, it is only a matter of time before a chip made particularly for artificial general intelligence (AGI) can be developed.
Questions to Reflect On
- Why are we concerned about artificial general intelligence?
- How can a self-learning machine lead to an AGI?