MIT researchers have developed a new automated AI system for training and running certain neural networks. Results indicate that, by improving the computational efficiency of the system in some key ways, the system can cut down the pounds of carbon emissions involved—in some cases, down to low triple digits.
The researchers' system, which they call a once-for-all network, trains one large neural network comprising many pretrained subnetworks of different sizes that can be tailored to diverse hardware platforms without retraining. This dramatically reduces the energy usually required to train each specialized neural network for new platforms—which can include billions of internet of things (IoT) devices. Using the system to train a computer-vision model, they estimated that the process required roughly 1/1,300 the carbon emissions compared to today's state-of-the-art neural architecture search approaches, while reducing the inference time by 1.5-2.6 times.