Chinese start-up on track to deliver artificial intelligence-on-a-chip


Mainland Chinese start-up Horizon Robotics, founded by the former head of online search giant Baidu’s Institute of Deep Learning, claims it is on pace to bring chips with built-in artificial intelligence (AI) technology to market.

“General processors are too slow for AI functions. A dedicated chip will dramatically increase the speed of these functions,” Yu Kai, the founder and chief executive of Horizon Robotics told the South China Morning Post.

Founded in Beijing in July, Horizon Robotics is developing chips and software that attempt to mimic how the human brain solves abstract tasks, such as voice and image recognition, that are difficult for regular computer programmes. It also makes sensors for smart devices.

Yu said the company’s AI chips will empower future home appliances and cars, for example, to provide fast and intelligent response to user commands even without internet connection.

“Most AI services are based in the cloud, but what happens if the internet is slow or down?” he asked, referring to voice-activated personal digital assistant services such as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa.

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