Qualcomm’s Neuromorphic Endeavors

Summary

IBM may have been the first to release a neuromorphic chip, but Qualcomm is hot on their heals. The release date isn’t yet set (or at least it isn’t known), however according to MIT Technology Review, “the company will spend 2014 signing up researchers to try out the technology.” The effort is called the Zeroth Program, based on the later added “Zeroth” law of Asimov’s laws of robotics. The name seems more a nod than anything to do with the chip itself since the field is still too primitive to be dealing with laws of motivation and behavior, however another entry into the field should be greatly welcomed. Much is yet to be determined with regards to the synaptic integration, plasticity, and connectivity parameters required for particular functions and levels of performance in a robot imbued with intelligence via neuromorphic chip.

A demo this past spring, reported in several articles, displayed a robot cleaning up toys given only instructions via the body language of an engineer. Existing robots can do such a task, so time and further testing will tell ...

IBM may have been the first to release a neuromorphic chip, but Qualcomm is hot on their heals. The release date isn’t yet set (or at least it isn’t known), however according to MIT Technology Review, “the company will spend 2014 signing up researchers to try out the technology.” The effort is called the Zeroth Program, based on the later added “Zeroth” law of Asimov’s laws of robotics. The name seems more a nod than anything to do with the chip itself since the field is still too primitive to be dealing with laws of motivation and behavior, however another entry into the field should be greatly welcomed. Much is yet to be determined with regards to the synaptic integration, plasticity, and connectivity parameters required for particular functions and levels of performance in a robot imbued with intelligence via neuromorphic chip.

A demo this past spring, reported in several articles, displayed a robot cleaning up toys given only instructions via the body language of an engineer. Existing robots can do such a task, so time and further testing will tell if the capabilities shown off are really a step beyond what has been shown previously. Flexibility in the face of shifting environmental conditions will arguably be the biggest challenge and proof of a true advancement. The idea of the neuromorphic design after all is to remove explicit coding of conditions and instead teach and allow a robot to learn. The plan of a second entry to the field, likely with more to follow by the likes of HRL Laboratories, is very much something to celebrate.

Tagged with:

Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar