Prof. Patrick Rinke Awarded Academy Grant for Developing Biologically Inspired Computing Systems

Prof. Rinke’s three-year joint project with VTT aims to make demanding AI computing tasks use less power while maintaining performance.
Image of neuromorphic circuits
The AI4AI project aims to employ currently available AI tools to design new neuromorphic AI devices. Image: Patrick Rinke/Aalto University, Sayani Majumdar/VTT.

Professor Patrick Rinke of the Department of Applied Physics has been awarded an Academy of Finland grant for a project exploring the development of biology-inspired materials for improved sustainability in artificial intelligence (AI) computation. The project, entitled “AI software-based material design for sustainable AI hardware” (AI4AI), is a collaboration with Sayani Majumdar, Senior Scientist at VTT. VTT is in charge of coordinating the project.

In general, artificial intelligence tasks are extraordinarily demanding for conventional computers; the machines slow down and use enormous amounts of power. As demand for AI increases around the world, so does its environmental impact.

Inspired by the energy efficiency of the human brain, scientists have begun to develop hardware specifically for AI computation. Such neuromorphic hardware imitates the architecture of neuro-biological structures, but its development is still in the early stages. The three-year AI4AI project applies an AI-based material design strategy to create the next generation of neuromorphic AI hardware. The researchers develop electronic synapses and neurons with ultra-low power consumption that maintain fast computational speed, accuracy, and learning capacity in AI tasks.

“We use neural-networked-based AI methods on conventional computer chips to develop new devices that realize neural networks directly on a chip. Such neuromorphic AIs use a lot less power than conventional AIs on conventional chips and are therefore a lot better for the environment,” Professor Rinke says.

According to Rinke, the project is a fascinating opportunity to change the way we perceive AI.

“I really liked the idea of using AI to design the next generation of AI. We always think of AIs as living in the digital realm, but in this project, we are also changing the physical realm (i.e., computing hardware) that the AI runs on. Future AIs are therefore not only evolving digitally, but also physically,” Rinke says.

The funding was granted as part of the Academy of Finland’s call “ICT 2023: Sustainable and Energy-Efficient Solutions for Future ICT”. The AI4AI project starts in 2023.

More information:

CEST researchers standing in a group

Computational Electronic Structure Theory (CEST)

CEST is developing electronic structure and machine learning methods and applying them to computational materials science problems.

Department of Applied Physics
  • Published:
  • Updated:

Read more news

Tutkimuslaitteistoa ja muovihansikkaisiin puetut kädet.
Press releases Published:

Groundbreaking culturing technique reveals crucial mechanics of cancer

A novel cell culturing technique reveals the hidden biomechanics of breast cancer
Kiia Einola hymyilee kameralle. Otaniemen amfiteatteri taustalla.
Cooperation Published:

Kiia Einola thinks that buildings should support the well-being

Kiia Einola's study journey at Aalto University extends from bachelor's studies all the way to doctoral research. Summer job during her master's studies sparked Kiia's interest in smart building research. She is currently working on her doctoral dissertation in smart building services engineering by collaborating with Helvar, a company specializing in electrical engineering.
Aalto University logo on black background
Research & Art Published:

Aalto computer scientists in CVPR 2024

Two papers from the Department of Computer Science were accepted to CVPR 2024.
Woman welding in blue overalls and protective gear in a yard
Research & Art Published:

Seija Linnanmäki: ‘Climate change forces us to rethink air conditioning for comfort’

In our I claim series Seija Linnanmäki says that increasing cooling air conditioning cannot be the only solution to manage indoor climate.