Intel's latest Nervana processor is focused on AI inference

It's working with Facebook on the new AI chip.

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Intel is continuing its quest to build AI-focused processors, and it's getting a little help in the process. The semiconductor giant has unveiled a new version of its Nervana neural network chip that's focused on inference (that is, applying its knowledge to new data) rather than the training you usually see with deep learning systems. While the company was shy on details, it mentioned that it was working with Facebook -- the two aim for a chip that's "a highly tuned" and "a leap" in terms of handling inference-related tasks.

It's not certain just what Facebook expects to do with the new Nervana hardware. Inference, however, is used quite broadly. It's used for media searches, content filtering and malware detection, among other purposes. It's right up Facebook's alley, then -- this could help you track down a favorite photo that much sooner, or help the site remove objectionable content more effectively. In some ways, it could grease the wheels for Facebook as a whole.

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