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…But Google insists specialized chips are necessary for neural networks

So Microsoft and Intel want to replicate the models of data centers past in the AI cloud world – with standard processors, even if those are now programmable. But Google insists dedicated hardware is essential for deep machine learning and neural network applications, as Jeff Dean, a Google senior fellow and leader of the Google Brain deep learning research project, argued in a keynote speech at last week’s Hot Chips conference. Dean explained how deep neural nets are supporting major developments in speech and vision recognition, search, robotics and healthcare, among other things. He outlined how neural networks can help solve all the 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st Century, identified by the US National Academy of Engineering…

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