• Sentient’s power comes from linking up hundreds of thousands of computers over the Internet to work together as if they were a single machine. The company won’t say exactly where all the machines it taps into are. But many are idle inside data centers, the warehouse-like facilities that power Internet services such as websites and mobile apps.
  • Sentient can get up to one million processor cores working together on the same problem for months at a time, says Adam Beberg, principal architect for distributed computing at the company. Google’s biggest machine-learning systems don’t reach that scale, he says.
  • More recently Sentient has been trying to adapt its approach to work with a type of artificial intelligence called deep learning. This technique has recently produced striking breakthroughs in areas such as image and speech recognition, and it’s become the main focus of work on artificial intelligence at companies such as Google, Facebook, and Baidu.

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