MIT-Born A.I. Hardware Startup Raises $10M Led by Chinese Tech Giant Baidu


MIT spinoff Lightelligence is seeking to answer that question with a new kind of AI hardware that is the “world’s first realization of deep learning neural network computing in a photonic integrated circuit,” the company said in a press release...

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Lightelligence raises $10M funding to accelerate AI workloads to light speed


Boston-based startup Lightelligence has just landed $10 million in seed funding as it bids to accelerate artificial intelligence workloads with a new technology based on light. The round was led by Baidu Venture and a consortium of U.S. semiconductor executives. The company’s approach is to speed up information processing through the use of a nascent technology called photonic circuits, which are a more efficient alternative to electronic circuits, using photons rather than electrons to do the computing...

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Light-Powered Computers Brighten AI’s Future

scientific american

The idea of building a computer that uses light rather than electricity goes back more than half a century. “Optical computing” has long promised faster performance while consuming much less energy than conventional electronic computers. The prospect of a practical optical computer has languished, however, as scientists have struggled to make the light-based components needed to outshine existing computers. Despite these setbacks, optical computers might now get a fresh start—researchers are testing a new type of photonic computer chip, which could pave the way for artificially intelligent devices as smart as self-driving cars, but small enough to fit in one’s pocket...

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Computer chip mimics human brain, with light beams for neurons


Artificial neural networks, computer algorithms that take inspiration from the human brain, have demonstrated fancy feats such as detecting lies, recognizing faces, and predicting heart attacks. But most computers can’t run them efficiently. Now, a team of engineers has designed a computer chip that uses beams of light to mimic neurons. Such “optical neural networks” could make any application of so-called deep learning—from virtual assistants to language translators—many times faster and more efficient...

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New system allows optical “deep learning”


“Deep learning” computer systems, based on artificial neural networks that mimic the way the brain learns from an accumulation of examples, have become a hot topic in computer science. In addition to enabling technologies such as face- and voice-recognition software, these systems could scour vast amounts of medical data to find patterns that could be useful diagnostically, or scan chemical formulas for possible new pharmaceuticals...

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