Intel’s neuromorphic research chip, Loihi, is now able to identify harmful odors. These chips can also help us better understand the spread of COVID-19.
According to the latest PCWorld report, Intel’s neuromorphic chip Loihi has learned to smell. Intel has partnered with Cornell University to train Loihi chips to identify the odors of 10 potentially hazardous chemicals, such as acetone, ammonia and methane. The function of this artificial olfactory device is closer to the nose of a dog, or the sight of those handheld detectors at the airport to “smell” explosives.
Loihi operates a bit differently than detecting only odorous chemicals. Intel and Cornell used 72 chemical sensors to model what happens to the human brain when it detects an odor. In other words, when the olfactory cells or nerves in the nose are stimulated, a signal from the brain is emitted.
Intel developed the Loihi chip back in 2017 to mimic the function of the human brain. Intel is not the only person currently studying neuromorphic computing. Neuromorphic computing is a specific area of artificial intelligence (AI). IBM, HPE, MIT, Purdue, Stanford University, etc. are also studying neuromorphic computing.
Intel is also looking for the use of its “Pohoiki Springs” network, which is built from 768 Loihi neuromorphic chips and can be used in many different applications, one of which may be to help fight COVID-19. Machine learning applications can also help researchers analyze the spread of coronaviruses.
Without a statement, Intel said that while Pohoiki Springs will not replace everyday computing systems, “they provide researchers with a tool to develop and characterize new neural-heuristic algorithms for real-time processing, problem solving , Adapt and learn. “Pohoiki Springs will be able to generate different scenarios about how the coronavirus may continue to occur, helping scientists learn the best ways to stop and slow it down.