Verne Global

AI / ML / DL | Iceland | Research |

1 February 2018

Iceland provides the power behind Germany's most pioneering AI start-ups

Written by Spencer Lamb

Spencer is Verne Global's Director of Research and head's up our work with European education, research and life science organisations. He also has a firm interest in AI and Machine Learning technologies.

This week has seen the announcement of Analytic Engineering, a pioneering German AI engineering firm, choosing Verne Global’s data center in Iceland as the location for their intensive computing. I was delighted to welcome them to our campus and to work on this new partnership with their talented Co-CEO Tobias Seifert. This represents another impressive AI and Machine Learning client win for us, following DeepL joining us just before Christmas.

Analytic Engineering provides an AI supported decision support system that examines large amounts of data to allow customers to make complex engineering decisions more easily and more efficiently. To do this, the company’s software utilises large-scale combinatorics, discrete and continuous optimisation, and finite element simulations. Analytic Engineering’s service is deployable to a number of industries from the wider manufacturing sector to large-scale construction and capital works projects.

To provide a more streamlined decision-making process Analytic Engineering’s AI applications analyse vast amounts of data from thousands of different touch points and sensors, and this process - using graphics processing units (GPU) hardware - is extremely power intensive.

Interestingly the common denominator between DeepL and Analytic Engineering - other than them both using leading edge AI and Machine Learning technologies - is that they’re both German based (Cologne and Dortmund respectively) and have together told us they’ve struggled to find a data center in Germany that can offer specialised facilities and hosting for intensive and high performance computing (HPC). This is exactly what we’ve also identified and one of the reasons we took the move in late 2016 to fully focus our Icelandic data center and our industry outreach at HPC and related forms of high intensity supercomputing.

While there is a growing number of AI, Machine Learning and Deep Learning clusters starting up in Berlin, Munich and the Cologne-Düsseldorf-Dortmund triangle, there does appear to be some common constraints in Germany for this kind of technological transformation. A lack of appropriate, tailored, high performance facilities to host this level of infrastructure and a domestic German power profile that includes some of the most expensive energy anywhere in the world.

For small, niche, high-tech firms like DeepL and Analytic Engineering – technical restrictions and cost-prohibitive energy bills are the last thing they need, and it can be no coincidence that since DeepL joined us in Iceland, they have rapidly expanded, and produced a widely acclaimed product that in tests massively outperformed existing translator services provided by global hyperscale developers – Google, Microsoft and Facebook.

Verne Global is increasingly seeing interest from businesses looking to run applications that leverage AI and machine learning more fully into their processes. In response to this we are pushing our technical limits to provide customisable compute environments and solutions to meet their exact needs. This makes it a thoroughly exciting time to be at Verne Global – we aren’t selling ‘one size fits all’ solutions and we’re continually being challenged at technology’s bleeding edge.

Across all successful, innovative companies that you examine you will find one thing in common, the push to deliver a better service to the customer. The reality of growth within an industry is that if you can’t keep up with new technologies and quickly adapt, you will be left behind. If you’re running AI, Machine Learning or Deep Learning technologies or developing compute environments which utilise these please follow DeepL and Analytic Engineering’s lead and contact us to see how we can help reduce your energy costs, enable your innovation to truly scale, and provide you with an optimised platform on which to advance.

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