Meta claims its new AI supercomputer will set records

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Meta (formerly Facebook) has unveiled an AI supercomputer that it claims will be the world’s fastest.

The supercomputer is called the AI Research SuperCluster (RSC) and is yet to be fully complete. However, Meta’s researchers have already begun using it for training large natural language processing (NLP) and computer vision models.

RSC is set to be fully built in mid-2022. Meta says that it will be the fastest in the world once complete and the aim is for it to be capable of training models with trillions of parameters.

“We hope RSC will help us build entirely new AI systems that can, for example, power real-time voice translations to large groups of people, each speaking a different language, so they can seamlessly collaborate on a research project or play an AR game together,” wrote Meta in a blog post.

“Ultimately, the work done with RSC will pave the way toward building technologies for the next major computing platform — the metaverse, where AI-driven applications and products will play an important role.”

For production, Meta expects RSC will be 20x faster than Meta’s current V100-based clusters. RSC is also estimated to be 9x faster at running the NVIDIA Collective Communication Library (NCCL) and 3x faster at training large-scale NLP workflows.

A model with tens of billions of parameters can finish training in three weeks compared with nine weeks prior to RSC.

Meta says that its previous AI research infrastructure only leveraged open source and other publicly-available datasets. RSC was designed with the security and privacy controls in mind to allow Meta to use real-world examples from its production systems in production training.

What this means in practice is that Meta can use RSC to advance research for vital tasks such as identifying harmful content on its platforms—using real data from them.

“We believe this is the first time performance, reliability, security, and privacy have been tackled at such a scale,” says Meta.

(Image Credit: Meta)

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