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Computers

Intel lets you stick an AI brain into your USB port

The $80 Movidius Neural Compute Stick is tuned for tinkerers and engineers who want to give neural network technology a whirl.

With a USB hub, you can plug several Intel Movidius Neural Compute Sticks into your laptop.

With a USB hub, you can plug several Intel Movidius Neural Compute Sticks into your laptop.

Intel

Want to give your PC an IQ boost? Intel's $80 Movidius Neural Compute Stick lets you plug some computing brains into your laptop's USB port.

The device, geared for tinkerers and programmers, can crank out 100 billion mathematical calculations per second while consuming a paltry 1 watt of power. That's the kind of thing that can be handy if you're trying to work out computer vision in your drone or help your cleaning robot tell the difference between a cat and a coffee table.

Intel announced the device at the conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition on Thursday.

Artificial intelligence -- and more specifically a brain-like approach called neural networks to machine-learning technology -- is sweeping the industry as a new way to do everything from recognize speech to identify what ingredients are in your lunch.