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Someone has to create Skynet, and to date, Google appeared to be in the lead, but Microsoft has started ramping up their own efforts to create a cloud-based AI infrastructure based on super-fast, dedicated, custom-designed AI chipsets. Called Project Olympus,  a Microsoft spokesperson described the work as “… server design, silicon, and AI to enable cloud workloads.” “We actually design a lot of our own silicon that goes into the data centers,” said Jason Zander, executive vice president for Azure. Clues to Microsoft’s silicon efforts has been found in 3 recent job postings. Three months ago, Microsoft published at least three job openings within its Azure public cloud division, looking for candidates to work on features for an AI chip. In April Microsoft listed an opening for a silicon program manager, and “an engineer for software/hardware co-design and optimization for AI acceleration.” Microsoft has invested in custom silicon before, using field-programmable gate array (FPGA) chips to create Project Brainwave, again to accelerate AI training. This effort is separate from that, however, a Microsoft spokesman confirmed. Microsoft has also talked about their new Holographic Programming Unit for the HoloLens 2 which will feature boosted AI-based capabilities. There's more posted on OUR FORUM.

 

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