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Seeking Big A.I. Advances, a Startup Turns to a Huge Computer Chip

Tucked in the Los Altos hills near the Stanford University campus, in a low-slung bunker of offices across from a coffee shop, is a lab overflowing with blinking machines putting circuits through their paces to test for speed, the silicon equivalent of a tool and die shop.

Something very different is emerging here.  Andrew Feldman, 50, chief executive of startup Cerebras Systems, holds up both hands, bracing between them a shining slab the size of a large mouse pad, an exquisite array of interconnecting lines etched in silicon that shines a deep amber under the dull fluorescent lights.

With chips like this, Feldman expects that artificial intelligence will be reinvented, as they provide the parallel-processing speed that Google and others will need to build neural networks of unprecedented size.  Four hundred thousand little computers, known as “cores,” cover the chip’s surface.

In Cerebras’s case, the entire wafer is used to make a multi-chip computer, a supercomputer on a slab.  Companies have tried for decades to build a single chip the size of a silicon wafer, but Cerebras’s appears to be the first one to ever make it out of the lab into a commercially viable product.

“For the most part it’s true, it’s just that they’re dealing with the wrong order of magnitude.” Cerebras’s chip is fifty-seven times the size of the leading chip from Nvidia, the “V100,” which dominates today’s A.I.

And it has more memory circuits than have ever been put on a chip: 18 gigabytes, which is 3,000 times as much as the Nvidia part.  “It’s obviously very different from what anyone else is doing,” says Linley Gwennap, a longtime chip observer who publishes a distinguished chip newsletter, Microprocessor Report.

One reason is the need for a complex system of water-cooling, a kind of irrigation network to counteract the extreme heat generated by a chip running at 15 kilowatts of power.  “You can’t do that with a chip designed to plug into any old Dell server,” says Feldman.

scientist at the well-known not-for-profit lab OpenAI and the co-creator of AlexNet, one of the most famous programs for recognizing objects in pictures.  Today’s dominant form of artificial intelligence is called “deep learning” because scientists keep adding more layers of calculations that need to be performed in parallel.

“You have to divide up a task to fit across them all and use them all effectively.” “Until we see benchmarks, it’s hard to assess how good the design is for A.I.,” says Gwennap.  Cerebras is not disclosing performance statistics yet, but Feldman promises that will follow once the first systems ship to customers in September.

“Every time there has been a shift in the computing workload, the underlying machine has had to change,” he observes, 'and that presents opportunity.”  The amount of data to be processed has grown vastly larger in the “Big Data” era, but progress at Nvidia and Intel has slowed dramatically in terms of performance improvements.

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A.I. Artificial Intelligence

The film languished in protracted development for years, partly because Kubrick felt computer-generated imagery was not advanced enough to create the David character, whom he believed no child actor would convincingly portray.

In the 22nd century, rising sea levels from global warming have wiped out coastal cities, reducing the world's population.

In Madison, David, a prototype Mecha child capable of experiencing love, is given to Henry Swinton and his wife Monica, whose son Martin contracted a rare disease and has been placed in suspended animation.

Monica feels uneasy with David, but eventually warms to him and activates his imprinting protocol, causing him to have an enduring childlike love for her.

With Teddy as his only accompaniment, David recalls The Adventures of Pinocchio and decides to find the Blue Fairy so that she may turn him into a real boy, which he believes will win back Monica's love.

The audience, deceived by David's realistic nature, revolts and allows David to escape alongside Gigolo Joe, a male prostitute Mecha on the run from authorities after being charged with murder.

Believing the Blue Fairy to be real, David asks the statue to turn him into a real boy, and repeats this request until his internal power source is depleted.

The Specialists reconstruct the Swinton family home from David's memories and explain to him, via an interactive image of the Blue Fairy, that it is impossible to make David a real boy.

David spends his happiest day with Monica, and as she falls asleep in the evening, she tells David that she has always loved him: 'the everlasting moment he had been waiting for', the narrator says.

Kubrick began development on an adaptation of 'Super-Toys Last All Summer Long' in the late 1970s, hiring the story's author, Brian Aldiss, to write a film treatment.

Bob Shaw briefly served as writer, leaving after six weeks due to Kubrick's demanding work schedule, and Ian Watson was hired as the new writer in March 1990.

In early 1994, the film was in pre-production with Christopher 'Fangorn' Baker as concept artist, and Sara Maitland assisting on the story, which gave it 'a feminist fairy-tale focus'.[7]

'We tried to construct a little boy with a movable rubber face to see whether we could make it look appealing,' producer Jan Harlan reflected.

Spielberg copied Kubrick's obsessively secretive approach to filmmaking by refusing to give the complete script to cast and crew, banning press from the set, and making actors sign confidentiality agreements.

for a family film, no action figures were created, although Hasbro released a talking Teddy following the film's release in June 2001.[15]

in widescreen and full-screen 2-disc special editions featuring an eight-part documentary detailing the film's development, production, music and visual effects.

The bonus features also included interviews with Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, Frances O'Connor, Steven Spielberg, and John Williams, two teaser trailers for the film's original theatrical release and an extensive photo gallery featuring production sills and Stanley Kubrick's original storyboards.[33]

The film was first released on Blu-ray Disc in Japan by Warner Home Video on December 22, 2010, followed shortly after with a U.S release by Paramount Home Media Distribution (current owners of the DreamWorks catalog) on April 5, 2011.

This Blu-ray featured the film newly remastered in high-definition and incorporated all the bonus features previously included on the 2-disc special-edition DVD.[34]

A.I went on to gross $78.62 million in US totals as well as $157.31 million in foreign countries, coming to a worldwide total of $235.93 million.[35]

Based on 192 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, 73% of critics gave the film positive notices with a score of 6.6/10.

The website's critical consensus reads, 'A curious, not always seamless, amalgamation of Kubrick's chilly bleakness and Spielberg's warm-hearted optimism.

Of the film's ending, he wondered how it might have been had Kubrick directed the film: 'That is one of the 'ifs' of film history—at least the ending indicates Spielberg adding some sugar to Kubrick's wine.

Maltin, on the other hand, gives the film two stars out of four in his Movie Guide, writing: '[The] intriguing story draws us in, thanks in part to Osment's exceptional performance, but takes several wrong turns;

to Solaris (1972), and praised both 'Kubrick for proposing that Spielberg direct the project and Spielberg for doing his utmost to respect Kubrick's intentions while making it a profoundly personal work.'[43]

Film critic Armond White, of the New York Press, praised the film noting that 'each part of David's journey through carnal and sexual universes into the final eschatological devastation becomes as profoundly philosophical and contemplative as anything by cinema's most thoughtful, speculative artists – Borzage, Ozu, Demy, Tarkovsky.'[44]

Dubbing it Spielberg's 'first boring movie', LaSalle also believed the robots at the end of the film were aliens, and compared Gigolo Joe to the 'useless' Jar Jar Binks, yet praised Robin Williams for his portrayal of a futuristic Albert Einstein.[47][failed verification]

Spielberg responded to some of the criticisms of the film, stating that many of the 'so called sentimental' elements of A.I., including the ending, were in fact Kubrick's and the darker elements were his own.[49]

Plus, quite a few critics in America misunderstood the film, thinking for instance that the Giacometti-style beings in the final 20 minutes were aliens (whereas they were robots of the future who had evolved themselves from the robots in the earlier part of the film) and also thinking that the final 20 minutes were a sentimental addition by Spielberg, whereas those scenes were exactly what I wrote for Stanley and exactly what he wanted, filmed faithfully by Spielberg.'[52]

[Despite Mr. Watson's reference to worldwide box office of 4th, the movie actually finished 16th worldwide among 2001 movie releases.][53]

Upon rewatching the film many years after its release, BBC film critic Mark Kermode apologized to Spielberg in an interview in January 2013 for 'getting it wrong' on the film when he first viewed it in 2001.

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