Patent published on August 17, 2023

Making AI Smarter and Faster: Seoul National University Develops New System to Boost AI Training

We're familiar with the role computers play in our everyday lives. But what if we told you that those computers could be smarter and faster when it comes to understanding and learning from the world around them?

Recently, the Seoul National University R&DB Foundation, a South Korean institution known for its contributions to the field of technology and artificial intelligence, has developed a new system to make artificial intelligence (AI) training faster and smarter. They've disclosed this development in a new patent document (US20230259747A1).

Before we dive into the details of the patent, it's important to understand what we're talking about here: a computer system. It's a specialized system that trains a specific type of machinery called a "Deep Neural Network" (DNN) model. The primary use of ones such model is to recognize patterns and make decisions, just like a human brain. Unfortunately, with the explosion in data and complexity, these DNN models have become slower than expected, requiring more computer memory (or storage space) to function. In simple terms, it's like asking your smartphone to hold more apps, photos, and movies, but without expanding the storage space.

The system proposed by Seoul National University R&DB Foundation is like a high-power engine for AI training. It uses multiple storage spaces and a specialized manager to look after them. It does not rely on the traditional high-bandwidth memory which can fall short when handling big models, but opts for a different type of memory called "NAND flash-based memory". It's like asking a team of workers to work on a project simultaneously instead of sequentially – the job gets done faster.

Here's the catch: the system needs a director to manage everything. And this role is shouldered by a component called a processor. The processor sets the pace and directs the different parts of the system to ensure they are all working in harmony.

Figures included in the patent visually represent the inner workings of this system. With multiple diagrams and flowcharts, the inventors have outlined how data flows through the system during the training process. They showed how a DNN model can utilize storage space efficiently and manage write-read operations for enhanced speed.

But we must remember, the proof of the pudding lies in the eating. While the system seems promising, its performance in real-world applications can only be determined when it's put to test.

The Seoul National University R&DB Foundation, given their role as a research institute, may not directly introduce this technology to the market as a tangible product. However, it might form a crucial part of advancements in AI software or applications sponsored or developed by the university. Alternatively, the technology might be used in numerous AI research projects that the institution conducts.

In conclusion, while we're taking a closer look at this patent today, remember, a patent is not a product you find on shelves. It's essentially an idea proposed and legally protected. So while the patent provides a peek into the exciting advances in AI training capabilities, the reality of it benefiting the everyday consumer remains uncertain for now. It's like the old saying goes, "the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry". Only time will tell if this plan spins into reality or remains a fanciful prospect.

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