Microsoft Developing AI Chip, Athena, to Tackle Rising Research Costs

Microsoft Developing AI Chip, Athena, to Tackle Rising Research Costs (News Central TV)

Microsoft has been quietly building its own artificial intelligence (AI) chips, Athena to deal with the escalating expenses of research for in-house and OpenAI projects, according to The Information. Microsoft’s recently unveiled hardware venture looks to be aimed to minimise the Redmond, Washington company’s dependency on Nvidia’s GPUs, having been in the works since 2019.

A Google search finds that the Nvidia H100, one of the more popular GPUs for training machine learning systems, can cost up to $40,000 on reseller sites like eBay due to increased market scarcity. Because of the exorbitant prices, numerous Big Tech companies have developed their own hardware, with Meta, Google, and Amazon all building machine-learning chips in recent years.

Microsoft Developing AI Chip, Athena, to Tackle Rising Research Costs (News Central TV)

Details are limited as Microsoft has yet to comment, but The Information’s source claims that the chips are being built under the code name “Athena” – possibly a tribute to the Greek goddess of battle as the generative AI arms race heats up.

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The new Athena chips are also being evaluated by members of Microsoft’s internal machine-learning team and OpenAI’s developers, according to the story.

While it is unclear how OpenAI plans to use Microsoft’s AI chips at this time, the company’s co-founder and CEO, Sam Altman, recently told a crowd at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that the infrastructure and design that got the company from GPT-1 to GPT-4 is “played out” and will need to be rethought –

“I think we’re at the end of the era where it’s going to be these, like, giant, giant models. We’ll make them better in other ways.”

This follows a hectic news cycle for the AI industry, with Amazon just entering the field as a new rival with the release of its first self-developed models as part of its Bedrock AI infrastructure rollout.

Moreover, during an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson on April 17, internet entrepreneur and world’s richest person Elon Musk announced the forthcoming introduction of TruthGPT, a “truth-seeking” large language model designed to combat ChatGPT’s apparent left-wing bias.

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What is Microsoft’s Athena?

Athena is an artificial intelligence that can hold simple English conversations and react to basic English enquiries in a variety of ways. You can communicate with Athena by using the microphone. Using Microsoft’s speech interface, Athena can assist you in working on your English pronunciation.

According to Microsoft, she is always courteous, willing to assist, and never sleeps. To communicate with the user, Athena employs Microsoft’s speech synthesiser and written text. Athena already has over 84,000 neurons and is still growing. In theory, her learning possibilities are limitless and only limited by the technology on which she works, which is why Microsoft regularly teaches her new things in order to discover her limit.

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The present prototype of Athena knows around 500 English words, including the sun, earth, dog, cat, beaver, horse, pony, lion, star, human, pig, peppa pig, heart, star, sky, car, planets, famous cartoon characters, historical notable individuals, and so on.

She knows jokes; simply ask her “tell me a joke” or something similar for various responses. She can also change 15 verbs in the majority of the present and past tenses.

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