Tiny AI — How It Works and Where It Is Being Used

By Thomas Price Tuesday, November 24, 2020

As technology continues to advance, artificial intelligence (AI) has gone from just a far off concept to an applicable part of the world with many everyday uses. However, as AI continues to expand, many issues have arisen as well, which have caused the technology community to begin to explore creative solutions. Tiny AI has become one of the most prominent of these creative solutions. So, the question then becomes what exactly tiny AI is, how it works, and how it is currently being used, if at all. Here is what the state of tiny AI is as of late 2020.

What is Tiny AI and How It Works

AI basically works by creating complex algorithms that build on top of themselves in a way that processes and amasses a significant amount of data. As the technology becomes more powerful, it requires larger amounts of data and more powerful computing in order to sustain itself. That data is then stored through giant centralized cloud services. As a result, the larger and more powerful AI is, the less secure and slower it becomes. On top of this, these services are a major source of carbon emissions and make AI a non-eco-friendly technology. In an effort to solve this problem, the idea of tiny AI has become larger in the heads of many people within the industry. In essence, tiny AI aims to reduce the size and complexity of existing algorithms to help reduce overall computing power needs while still achieving the same end product. This is further backed by the creation of a smaller, more powerful generation of AI chips that can still process incredible solid computational power — while also getting current AI to run on less energy.

As the tiny AI continues moving forward, using centralized cloud services in every single device looks to eventually become a segment of the past. Instead, tiny AI could be capable of using cloudlets, which are remote extensions of a centralized cloud service, which would drastically reduce the power required in the devices using tiny AI. Eventually, centralized cloud services may not be needed at all except in the case of regular, large-scale AI. What is even more exciting that the immediate future is how applicable tiny AI is already practically applied in ways that are available for public use.

How Tiny AI is Being Used

Tiny AI is already more integrated into basic everyday society than perhaps many people are even aware of. For instance, Google has completely transitioned all Google Assistant services on phones that use it completely off of a remote server, thus being a prime example of the difference it makes. Google is not the only company to be using tiny AI as well. Apple now runs all of Siri’s speech recognition technology as well as the company’s QuickType keyboard locally on the iPhone in all updates after iOS 13.

Tiny AI is also being promoted heavily by other major technology companies as well, with the benefits of it clearly being recognized. Both IBM and Amazon are now offering developer platforms for those who are making and developing tiny AI technologies. This could all lead to immediate benefits for users as well. With tiny AI continuing to improve, features on mobile devices such as voice assistants, autocorrect, and cameras should see faster and better operations as the tiny AI will no longer need to visit a cloud service in order to access deep learning algorithms and technology. It will also restore certain levels of privacy for the user, with all the technology being localized on the device as opposed to needing to access a centralized cloud service.

Final Conclusions

Tiny AI is creating solutions that have been limiting the power and space that AI can be capable of. By localizing the technology and minimizing the needed power to operate it, tiny AI opens up significant space for regular AI while also reducing large amounts of carbon emissions caused by centralized cloud services. Tiny AI technology is continuously improving, and the support and use of it by major tech companies further shows how important it will be in the future of AI.

About the Author


Headshot for author Thomas Price

Tom Price is a writer focusing on Entertainment and Sports Features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.

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