Microsoft builds a great supercomputer for smarter AI

Microsoft has built a huge supercomputer for artificial intelligence work, a new direction for the Azure cloud computing service . The machine has 285,000 processor cores, plus 10,000 graphics chips for OpenAI , a company that wants to make sure that artificial intelligence (AI) technology helps humans.

Microsoft announced the machine at its developer conference, called Build , on Tuesday. (For more details on the event, you can take a look at ZDNet’s full coverage in English of Build .) Supercomputers, the most powerful computing machines on the planet, are typically used for the most laborious problems. That includes jobs like simulating nuclear weapon explosions, predicting future weather, and, more recently, finding medications to fight the coronavirus . In the case of Microsoft, it is used to develop AI systems that can run anywhere.

A distinctive feature of supercomputers is the enormous amount of memory and fast connections between processors. That, in effect, allows a supercomputer to focus on a single complicated problem better than a larger group of smaller, cheaper machines. Microsoft and OpenAI believe their giant computer will give AI new sophistication.