Tate is Verne Global's CTO and is responsible for setting the technical direction for the company. You can follow Tate on Twitter: @tate8tech
One of the most important advancements that we see in computing today is the continued march forward of computational efficiency. There is no better stage for monitoring these advancements than the Green500. The Green500 is a biannual ranking of the TOP500 supercomputers using the efficiency metric of performance per watt. Performance is measured using the TOP500 measure of high performance LINPACK benchmarks at double-precision floating-point (FP64) format. Unofficially tracked since 2009 and officially listed since 2013, the Green500 metrics show the trajectory for the advancement of computational efficiency in supercomputers.
I recently had the pleasure of presenting to a team from Dell Technologies talking about high performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI) workloads within enterprise organizations. The scale and complexity of HPC is growing tremendously. Even with a predicted slowdown for 2020, analyst firm Intersect 360 is still anticipating the market to grow to $55B by 2024.
As a late sign-up for the recent HPC & AI Meetup in Bristol, I was feeling relaxed coming in without a speaking slot and only the objective of meeting some colleagues and hearing a few lightning talks. Well, all that changed with two minutes from the start when our MC for the night, Verne Global's fabulous Simone Warren, told me that I had just been awarded the honour of giving the closing remarks. Her rationale was sound - it was a technical meeting - perhaps the CTO should give the exit speech. Logical indeed, and while I do in fact enjoy a bit of public speaking, I will admit that I do like to over-prepare myself for any speaking role and I knew I was in for a new type of challenge. My mind had to focus in and quit thinking about that Banksy I was looking forward to seeing around the corner from the venue. Little did I know that he was stealthily working in the background on a Valentine's Day surprise.
I was recently in attendance for a rare event in my busy life - a book discussion. Our family is fortunate that our three boys are attending a school that not only challenges its students mentally and physically, but also promotes the engagement of the entire family unit. Our school’s headmaster led an engaging discussion on a book that will celebrate its tenth anniversary this year: Whistling Vivaldi and Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us by Claude Steele who currently serves as Professor of Psychology at Stanford University.
As I’ve recently discussed in my latest blog post, artificial intelligence operates most efficiently when it is commoditising intelligence and decision making. Simple and repetitive tasks, and later complex and repetitive tasks, will be ‘solved’ through artificial intelligence. While we are starting to see real proof of the scientific and business benefits that come from this streamlining and processing of data, there are moral and ethical discussions beginning to take place.
Last month I moderated an AI disruptor panel at the World Summit AI in Amsterdam. Our conversation covered the moral, economic and practical considerations that need to be taken into account when it comes to the future disruptions AI will bring. As MIT President, L. Rafael Reif, was recently quoted as saying, “Technologies embody the values of those who make them, and the policies we build around them can profoundly shape their impact. Whether the outcome is inclusive or exclusive, fair or laissez-faire, is therefore up to all of us.” While this is true for every new technology, we are entering new territory when it comes to AI. How can your business be prepared for the impact of AI? Let’s take a look at three key elements to successfully making this transition.
A couple of weeks ago Frankfurt may have hosted the purveyors of the fastest machines on the planet at the International Supercomputing Conference ISC19, but it also was the location of a really fascinating meetup focused on innovation in the field of Artificial Intelligence.
Yesterday was a good day to be in Frankfurt. All of the majors in the supercomputing universe descended upon the Messe Frankfurt to begin ISC18 with a series of training seminars. For my morning session, I chose Getting Started with Containers on HPC through Singularity put on by the team at Sylabs, Inc. I have been tracking the progress on Singularity in the HPC community since before Sylabs was founded by CEO Greg Kurtzer in an effort to bring the technology of root secure containers into the realm of enterprise supported software. I was excited to hear about the progress that Sylabs has made and to see where the future of containers lies for the broader HPC community. If I was forced to sum the tutorial into a single portmanteau, it would be DevOps. After this session, it is clear to me that the world of DevOps that has been created in the cloud native universe is on a collision course with HPC. And the future of science says that it can’t happen soon enough.
As we prepare to descend upon Frankfurt this week for ISC18, science will take its appropriate place at center stage. Throughout the week, the gathering will hear how through science we are challenging the world’s toughest problems, dissecting those problems down to their foundations and then building them back up by methodically moving every minute detail that has been learned into the powerful realm of the supercomputer. Science shows us that the best innovations are created by literally starting from scratch and building from there.