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Intel Trains Neuromorphic Chip to Detect Odors


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Intel's Loihi chip.

Researchers at Intel and Cornell University trained Intel's Loihi neuromorphic processor to identify 10 materials from their odors.

Credit: Intel

Intel and Cornell University researchers have trained Intel's Loihi neuromorphic processor to identify 10 materials from their odors, demonstrating how neuromorphic computing could be applied to detect precursor smells and potentially locate explosives and narcotics, diagnose diseases, and notice signs of smoke and carbon monoxide.

The chip was trained by configuring the circuit schematic of biological olfaction, using a dataset compiling the activity of 72 chemical sensors in response to various scents.

The researchers said the method kept Loihi's memory of the scents intact, and the chip has "superior" recognition accuracy compared with conventional techniques.

Said Intel's Nabil Imam, "This work is a prime example of contemporary research at the crossroads of neuroscience and artificial intelligence and demonstrates Loihi's potential to provide important sensing capabilities that could benefit various industries."

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