In recent years, the development of AI technology that reproduces the functions of the human brain on a small device has been promoted all over the world.
The application of AI technology is progressing in many fields such as autonomous driving, industrial robots, drones, etc., but there is a demerit that additional hardware is required to install AI and it becomes large, so it is small. There is a superficial need to install AI hardware.

Toshiba develops small AI hardware

On May 27, Toshiba announced in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University that it succeeded in imitating and reproducing some of the functions of the hippocampus, which controls spatial cognition in the brain, with small brain-type AI hardware for the first time in the world. did.

As a result, it can be expected to reduce the size of self-sustaining mobile robots for infrastructure inspections that require high spatial cognitive ability.

In addition, by further developing the results of this development, it is possible to imitate and reproduce complex brain functions with miniaturized hardware and implement highly intelligent AI technology in various fields, especially in a high space. It is said that it will be possible to miniaturize autonomous mobile robots for infrastructure inspections that require cognitive ability.

* Toshiba announced the results of this technology on May 29 at the IEEE International Conference (circuits and systems) in Sapporo.

Brain AI hardware

Most of today’s hardware that imitates the movement in the brain uses a method of digitally processing a deep neural network.
On the other hand, information transmission in the brain exchanges electrical signals generated by analog processing instead of digital processing, and in order to faithfully imitate brain functions such as spatial cognition, analog processing is performed in the same way as nerve cells in the brain. It is indispensable to develop brain-type AI hardware by doing so.
However, it has been considered difficult to achieve this because it requires specialized knowledge about the brain.

Toshiba is conducting joint research with Johns Hopkins University, which integrates the fields of neuroscience, physiology, and engineering, and uses the circuit mounting technology possessed by Toshiba to faithfully reproduce the nerve cells of the brain possessed by Johns Hopkins University. By combining design technologies, we have realized the construction of brain-type AI hardware.

Toshiba and Johns Hopkins University conducted a demonstration experiment of hardware that focused on the hippocampus of mice, and similar experimental results have not been published in the past (according to Toshiba research), and brain function using brain-type AI hardware It is possible to accelerate the research and development of reproduction, and it is expected that it will be used for miniaturization of autonomous mobile robots in the future.

Toshiba intends to proceed with research toward the realization of further miniaturization of brain-type AI hardware, aiming for even higher intelligence of AI.