Tiny Artificial Intelligence (A.I.)

So, what is Tiny AI? Hao (2020) describes Tiny AI as small computers that independently host sophisticated, “localized” artificial intelligence without needing to connect to Internet-connected cloud computers for a response. For example, a couple of weeks ago we lost electricity and Internet access at home and our Alexa device essentially became a silicon brick only able to respond that it could not connect to the Internet. One specific benefit Hao identified is the increased personal data security protection as devices that run Tiny AI do not need to send data to the Internet as everything is stored on the device.

After reading about Tiny AI, I immediately imagined nano-robots programmed with Tiny AI injected into the blood stream to attack unhealthy viruses or cancer cells in the body. Without the need to communicate with an external computer, these nano-robots would be sophisticated enough to identify healthy vs. unhealthy cells and which ones to exterminate.

A quick search of the Internet revealed a web site developed by Imec, a research and development company focused on nano- and digital technologies that published a web page with a list of current and potential Tiny AI applications. Besides some similar medical applications described above, the company included several mobility and logistic examples like continually checking the driver’s health “with capacitive sensors in the seat and radar systems in the dashboard” to enhance safety amd enhancements to self-driving carts that “rely on several sensors to get a complete picture of their surroundings” (Tiny AI, n.d.).

Are there educational applications of Tiny AI?


Hao, K. (2020, February 26). Tiny AI. MIT Technology Review. Retrieved from https://www.technologyreview.com/10-breakthrough-technologies/2020/#tiny-ai

Tiny AI. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.imec-int.com/en/artificial-intelligence/tiny-ai