Graphcore

A data graph that loosely resembles a planetary environment micro-dosing on LSD maps the complex inner workings of a new ‘IPU’ chip.

  • Words: Jack Needham
  • Image: Graphcore

Androids may dream of electric sheep, but inside the mind of the machine learning visualisation software ‘Poplar’, you’ll discover a blooming micro-climate of fluorescent digital neurons and coral-like computerised patterns drenched in a UV glow. Poplar was created by the Bristol-based company Graphcore, a team formed of engineers, developers and several four-legged mascot puppies.

In simple terms Poplar is a data graph, albeit an abstract one, built as a way of visualising the complex inner workings of Intelligent Processing Units (IPU) which process visual data; an MRI scanner for an artificially intelligent ‘brain’, if you will. Resembling a planetary environment micro-dosing on LSD this particular graph is a mapping of the deep learning tool ResNet 18 and the routes their IPU’s follow to communicate with themselves. Here, millions of vertices and edges have been converted to further understand, and make understandable, how machines process thought and reason in technicolour.

Article taken from
Articles

Further Reading

Soviet Bus Stops

Photographer Christopher Herwig recounts the epic Central Asian road trips he took over 12 years, covering 30,000km, to document the unique and architecturally experimental Soviet bus stops.

The Year of the Panther

Afrofuturism first emerged as a challenge to why there were so few black science fiction writers, yet the movement has grown in range and strength to ask fundamental questions about the way we structure our world.

Pulp Comics: A Thing of the Past

Once a regular feature on US newsstands, we delve into the kitschy macho pulp of men’s adventure magazines and catch a glimpse of American Cold War psyche.

Reading List: Armchair Adventuring

From groundbreaking scientific discovery, swashbuckling on the high seas to the man who inspired James Bond, we handpick six books for armchair adventuring.

Project Coldfeet

A highly risky operation by the CIA to get information from an abandoned Russian drift station in the Arctic involved a helium balloon, an aircraft with horns protruding from its nose, and a flying pig.

Rolex Deep Sea Special

In one of the greatest adventures in horological history, Captain Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard took the 1960 Rolex Deep Sea Special 10,916 metres below the sea.
Browse by Category