Nvidia plans more AI

Robby the Robot - Wikimedia CommonsNvidia is updating its Digits software for designing neural networks.

Digits version 2 comes with a graphical user interface, potentially making it accessible to programmers beyond the typical user base of academics and developers which specialise in AI.

Nvidia vice president of accelerated computing Ian Buck said that a the previous version could be controlled only through the command line, which required knowledge of specific text commands and forced the user to jump to another window to view the results.

Digits will now enable up to four processors to work together simultaneously to build a learning model. Because the models can run on multiple processors, Digits can build models up to four times as quickly compared to the first version.

Nvidia wants AI to take off because it requires heavy computational power where its GPUs can do rather well. Nvidia first released Digits as a way to cut out a lot of the menial work it takes to set up a deep learning system.

It does have users Yahoo, which found this new approach cut the time required to build a neural network for automatically tagging photos on its Flickr service from 16 days to 5 days.

Nvidia  updated some of its other software to make it more AI friendly including its CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture) parallel programming platform and application programming interface, which also now supports 16-bit floating point arithmetic.This helps developers cram more data into the system for modelling. The company updated its CUDA Deep Neural Network library of common routines to support 16 bit floating point operations too.