I Found A Planet Chapter 133

Chapter 133: Little Star Learning Machine

Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio  Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio

That was right. The learning machine. The learning machine envisioned by Chen Jin and judged by many to be outdated, low-tech, and looked upon with disfavor had been produced. It was given the name, “Little Star Learning Machine.”

In the product testing lab of the development plant, the learning machine was displayed in front of Chen Jin. It was roughly the same size as a 10-inch iPad. It was rather heavy and awkward with a thickness of 9.8 millimeters, and a gross weight of one kilogram. Of course, the final product to be mass produced would be redesigned to reduce its weight; its thickness would also be compressed in the process.

The Chief Technical Inspector Song Bojun explained the functions of the Little Star Learning Machine as he performed some demonstrations.

“All the functions that you wanted us to achieve have been completed. The first function — learning textbook knowledge. We’ve entered all the required knowledge modules for the six grades of primary school. They are stored in the local memory of the learning machine. The size of the data is roughly 16 GB. President Chen, as for the educational video materials that you gave us, we’ve put all 20,000-plus videos on the cloud server. When a student needs to watch the videos, he can either download them onto the local memory or stream it from the cloud.”

Song Bojun moved to the next point. “The second function — voicing answers. This was the function that you specifically mentioned. Whenever the primary school students have any questions, they can ask the smart robot ‘Little Star.’ Little Star can answer all questions, including some questions that are outside of the primary school syllabus. For example, Little Star is able to provide scientific yet interesting answers to questions like ‘why does the sun emit light,”why do stars flicker,”why is the moon round,’ and other similar questions. This will satisfy their exuberant curiosity.”

Song Bojun continued, “Next is the third function — homework guidance. This function can be summarized like this; as long as the knowledge modules are within the scope of the syllabus, there are no primary school level questions that the Little Star learning machine cannot solve! This excludes literature, language, composition, English composition, and the formation of words or sentences. Simply by using the camera function to scan the test paper or homework, it can provide the steps to solve the problems as well as the answers, typically within five to ten seconds. We conducted a stress test. We found all 5,000 math olympiad question on the market, and gave them to the Little Star learning machine to solve. In the end, it used less than a day to complete all answers to the 5,000 questions. It used an average time of 10.7 seconds to solve each question. Out of the 5,000 math olympiad questions posed to Little Star, it correctly answered 4,976 questions. It found problems in 18 questions as they were not structured in a clear manner. There were six questions with two or more answers. But, in our opinion, the problems lie with the questions. There was nothing wrong with Little Star’s answers! Little Star’s rate of accuracy is 100%. No matter how much the primary school syllabus changes, it won’t be a problem for the Little Star learning machine!”

Song Bojun paused for a moment. “We’re only worried about one issue. This ‘homework guidance’ function could be seen as cheating by some teachers and a way to slack off studying by parents. In order to avoid this misunderstanding, we have added a ‘challenging mode’ into this function. Under this mode, Little Star will only provide the thought process for solving the question. Following the guide provided, the student will use the stylus to write the first step required in solving the question on the answer board. Only then will the machine provide the following thought process for the next step… thus guiding the student to complete the answer by himself. Activation of the ‘challenging mode’ is usually controlled by the parents.”

Finally, he moved to the next point. “Fourthly, in order to encourage students to become more passionate about their learning and to record their progress, we’ve added the ‘academic ranking’ function. By using the Little Star learning machine to study for at least thirty minutes, their academic values will be increased by one point. By taking a mini test every week and then a full-scale exam every month, the student’s academic value can go up to 10 points, 30 points, or even more if their results are good. The academic values can roughly reflect a student’s progress. Using this information, the machine can draw up a list of rankings. The student can also check the ranks of his friends. Of course, the student can also refuse ‘academic testing’ and not pursue points to increase their academic values.”

Song Bojun smiled proudly. “Fifthly, we’ve added some games that will build up one’s intelligence. The games will train and exercise the brain’s thought processes. Lastly, we’ve added lessons on life knowledge, civilizations, etiquette, law, and popular science. These will be completed with the guidance of parents. Also, we’ve developed and added all other functions that were found to be necessary!” With a face flushed with great excitement, Song Bojun said, “President Chen, I think that our Little Star learning machine has been brought to successful completion. It’s ready to be introduced to the market!”

Chen Jin nodded. He had devoted much of his energy into the project of the “intelligent learning machine.” It was 10 times more important to him than the Wa-wah robot. He did much more than just go to the facility for an average of three to four days every week. He had also brought with him countless technological information materials. For example, the USB flash disk in which the “intelligent learning program” had been downloaded. Another example was the explanatory videos on the various knowledge modules. There were more than 20,000 of those videos. After packing them up, the materials were nearly 5TB in size. These were given to him by the AI, Nuwa. Yet another example was the 3,000 TB of core data stored in the company’s super calculator. Although there were 8,000 TB of precious data on the company’s super calculator, that 3,000 TB of core data was produced by running Alice’s “Sakura” for two minutes.

After this data was transferred to the TC9000, the level of intelligence in the learning machine was increased by 10 times all at once! The knowledge that it possessed had evolved to a “middle-schooler” level and was currently moving towards “high-schooler” stage. In addition, functions such as the “intelligent language differentiation” and “intelligent video production techniques” had also rapidly achieved breakthroughs in their development process with the aid of the technological materials that Chen Jin brought. Without the materials that Chen Jin had provided, the Little Star Learning machine would never have been completed even in two or three years, much less eight months.

There was no need for him to transport the super calculators from the Base of Operations to Earth. He simply had to transfer the processed data to Earth. This would speed up the progress of the project. In addition, the R&D costs had been drastically reduced. Originally, the learning machine would have cost tens of billions to produce. But, Chen Jin had only spent five billion or so to create the construction machinery that met the target standard of performance.

“Ok!” Putting down the construction machinery in his hands, Chen Jin said, “The first generation of our Little Star learning machine has officially been finalized. We’ll move into mass production immediately!”

A technician squeezed himself into the conversation. “President Chen, how many units do you think we should order?”

Chen Jin looked at him and asked, “Oh, what do you think?”

He exclaimed, “There is an estimated 100 million primary school students in the whole country. We can give an order of 50 million units!”

Chen Jin shook his head. “The hardware unit of the Little Star first gen is average; it can only satisfy the needs of the primary school students. It’s not suitable for middle and high-schoolers. Unless we successfully complete the development of the high-performance AI chip… but that will require a few more months. Give an order of five million units. Little Star first gen is only a transitional product.” Speaking of chips, the CPU in Little Star first gen used a blueprint supplied by Teng Xun Corporation. Despite its normal level performance, its power and capability were entirely sufficient. It had the advantage of being cheap and reliable. It was created using the 28 nanometer production technique by Zhongxin International. Chen Jin had already made an order for five million units.

The AI chip used in the Little Star first gen was termed “Star Brain No.1.” It was jointly developed by Xing Hai Technologies and the domestic company, Cold Five Instruments using a capital of 500 million. The chip was about the size of a fingernail. With its intelligent operational capability, it could process 50 billion counts per second. However, it had a weaker performance. When met with questions of a middle-school third-grade level or higher, it required at least 30 seconds before providing the correct answer. This was definitely not enough. It was only barely enough if it could achieve 500 billion counts in one second or even higher.

The “Star Brain No.2” was currently in development. It had a surface area about the size of a beer bottle cap. With a peak operational capability of 750 billion counts per second, one could get ample use out of this AI chip. Hence, Chen Jin also gave an order of five million units for the chip, “Star Brain No.1,” which would be produced using the 14 nanometer production technique from Zhongxin International. Its mass production had recently begun.

Lastly was the OEM factory. He found a factory called “Chang Cheng Electric” to be the OEM for the production of the learning machine. This factory was a state-owned enterprise with tremendous technological prowess. Therefore, Chen Jin gave the order for five million intelligent learning machines to this company.

Why did he not approach Ling Feng Jing Mi for a collaboration? Wang Quan Long called to ask exactly this question.

Chen Jin replied, “Does Ling Feng Jing Mi have this production capacity? You can’t even cope with the production of the Wa-wah robot. I can only give the order for the learning machines to another company.”

“President Chen, you could have called me earlier. If you had given me a heads up in advance, I would have just built another OEM factory. Ah!” Wang Quan Long was very disappointed. Just like that, he lost the OEM order worth a few millions to another company. He ached at the loss. An OEM factory was less profitable than that little company of Ling Feng Jing Mi. But as someone who was in the OEM business, he liked the feeling that he got when he assembled a countless variety of components into a whole product. He had liked it since he was a young boy. His dream was to grow his Ling Feng Jing Mi company into an OEM giant like Futu Kang. He never imagined that an order worth millions would simply pass him by due to an insufficient production capacity.

Chen Jin consoled him, “President Wang, I will have other orders for you as long as Ling Feng Jing Mi is able to expand its follow-up production capacity. It’s alright to complete what you have on your plate first and do a good job on the Wa-wah robots. There will be opportunities to collaborate in the future.”

Wang Quan Long recovered. “Excuse me, President Chen. I was being greedy… You can rest assured. I promise that I will continue to do a good job as the OEM for the robots.” After he carefully thought things over, he suddenly understood why President Chen did not call him up. It was possibly because he did not want to “put all his eggs into one basket.” It was a typical consideration in business. It was him who had been acting too persistent, showing how unaware of the situation he was. “It’s ok. There will be plenty of opportunities to collaborate in the future.”

Starting on the 10th of March, Xing Hai Technologies posted a few comments from its official Weibo account in succession. The comments used hyperbolic diction meant to tillilate.

“In the future, everyone will be a top scholar and a genius. Every child will be this country’s cream of the crop. Mothers, you no longer have to worry about your child’s study.”

“The structure of our nation’s education system will experience dramatic upheaval because of this product.”

“There is no question that it cannot solve!”

“Let’s meet on the 15th of March at 8pm; we’ll be waiting…”

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