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8 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2018 I don't know about you, but every time I hear the term artifi- cial intelligence, it still reminds me of HAL 9000, the computer that took over the Discovery One spaceship in 2001: A Space Odyssey. I always secretly rooted for HAL. I per- fected my impression of HAL's voice when I was young. I'd walk around the house telling my little sisters, "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that." AI has been grabbing the headlines for the past few years. It's one of the hotter segments to watch, especially with drones, robots, autonomous vehicles and virtual reality applications becoming more popular every day. AI isn't just popular, it's fun. And AI can be a lucrative area for investors. Companies that were unknowns not long ago such as NVIDIA, Twilio, Alphabet and Baidu are riding the AI train all the way to the bank. Baidu is the top AI company in China, and the firm stands to benefit from that country's drive to be the global leader in AI by 2030. AI and its cousin, machine learning, are slowly making their way into EDA tools, most often to increase the speed of an existing pro- cess, or to reduce simulation times. All of the big EDA companies are involved in AI research, and we can expect to see more AI-driven func- tionality in the future. But some AI experts believe that the current crop of EDA tools can never take full advantage of AI, because most of these tools are based on code written many years ago, and true AI-driven EDA tools would have to be developed from the ground up. I doubt any EDA company is looking forward to the prospect of creating a whole new platform of PCB or IC design tools from scratch. AI's development has continued despite a fear among Luddites that intelligent computers could eventually enslave or kill us all. Movies like 2001 and "The Ultimate Computer" episode of the original Star Trek helped scare people into worrying about what could happen if AI ever ran amok. That could never happen, right? Some people think it's already happening. Your Alexa could be considered one of the benevolent bots, but bots have also hacked The Shaughnessy Report by Andy Shaughnessy, I-CONNECT007 AI at the Crossroads (Source: WikiCommons)

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