Computer chip that can smell explosives could transform the security system of airports

What could be your biggest nightmare while traveling by air than going through the airport security check? The obvious concern about the bombing and terrorist attack has made everyone face that tedious security checking. However, thanks to artificial intelligence, there’s a computer chip that can recognize the smell of explosives.

Dubbed Koniku Kore, this computer chip was developed by Oshi Agabi, a Nigerian neuroscientist, who unveiled it at the TEDGlobal conference in Tanzania. What makes this computer chip more interesting is that it’s based on mice neutrons rather than silicon.

Oshi Agabi

According to some experts, developing such artificial intelligence systems for mass-market was a challenging task. Tech giants like Microsoft and Google are currently in a furious competition to develop artificial intelligence modeled on the human brain. We all know that computers are better mathematical equation solver than human, but there are so many cognitive functions where the brain can perform better. For instance, teaching a computer to recognize smell would require an enormous amount of computational power, as well as energy.

“You can give the neurons instructions about what to do — in our case we tell it to provide a receptor that can detect explosives,” Agabi said.

Agabi hopes that in the future, this device will be able to eliminate the huge security lines of airports. It means you could easily go through the terminal without any hassle while a device can detect explosives just by sniffing them.

Apart from the bomb detection, this device could also be used to detect disease by sensing markers of it in the air molecules.

The link between biology and technology is nothing new. It has already been in the limelight as Elon Musk announced his latest venture Neuralink — where he is planning to connect the AI with the human brain. However, his idea of using mice neutrons to create a computer chip is a sign that the future of AI could be more alive.

Originally published at on August 30, 2017.

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