Google claims that it has developed artificial intelligence software that can design computer chips faster than humans can.
The tech giant said in a paper in the journal Nature on Wednesday that a chip that would take humans months to design can be dreamed up by its new AI in less than six hours.
The AI has already been used to develop the latest iteration of Google’s tensor processing unit chips, which are used to run AI-related tasks, Google said.
“Our method has been used in production to design the next generation of Google TPU,” wrote the authors of the paper, led by Google’s head of machine learning for systems, Azalia Mirhoseini.
To put it another way, Google is using AI to design chips that can be used to create even more sophisticated AI systems.
Specifically, Google’s new AI can draw up a chip’s “floorplan.” This essentially involves plotting where components like CPUs, GPUs, and memory are placed on the silicon die in relation to one another — their positioning on these miniscule boards is important as it affects the chip’s power consumption and processing speed.
It takes humans months to optimally design these floorplans but Google’s deep reinforcement learning system — an algorithm