Exploring AI at Scale

At Microsoft, we are pioneering a new approach to artificial intelligence that is fuelling the next generation of AI at Scale, which is working at unprecedented levels of complexity to solve some of today’s biggest challenges.

To achieve the next level of intelligence in AI we need to be able to train even larger, more sophisticated models on massive amounts of data requiring intensive compute power, time, and resources. We also need to be able to leverage the progress we make across various scenarios to scale to multiple use cases and applications.

We are enabling AI at Scale across infrastructure, model development, and deployment.

  • Infrastructure: we needed to rethink both our compute hardware and networking. This led to investments in purchasing the best AI accelerators including the latest Nvidia GPUs and InfiniBand networking
  • Large AI models: we found larger AI models performed better in tasks so we needed to train the largest models possible
  • Deployment: although large models lead to higher accuracy, they are expensive to deploy. We need to solve the deployment problem with extremely high loads to deliver this AI into every product

Today, AI is bound by the limitations of infrastructure, effectiveness of machine learning models, and ease of development. AI at Scale expands beyond these limitations to allow rapid acceleration of AI innovation. Advancements in models are changing how AI is developed and advanced through the creation of comprehensive, centralised models that can be scaled and specialised across product domains. Supercomputing is crucial to leveraging data with billions of parameters.

AI at Scale is unlocking breakthroughs in natural language processing (NLP) across text, images, and video, allowing humans to interact with data more naturally than ever before. NLP powers virtual assistants, analysis of research or records, and more. Beyond interpretation, NLP can produce content—generating tests in education, or imagining new ideas for movies, books, and other media.

Supercomputers are for example used by corporations and government organisations around the world to simulate outcomes, make wholesale improvements, and increase efficiency to supplant competition. We see organisations across industries using supercomputing capabilities for everything from manufacturing cars and consumer packaged goods to finding new oil repositories or assisting in research and development of new life-saving medicines.

By working collaboratively and continuously – both internally and with the global community – we continue to introduce new AI capabilities into our products, platform offerings to our customers,  partnership endeavors, and the many Microsoft initiatives that support our mission of human empowerment.

These collective AI efforts are resulting in breakthroughs destined to help our world solve some of the toughest challenges. Together, we will build increasingly powerful models that will teach AI to understand our world and help amplify our own ingenuity more effectively.

Transparency and ethics are very important factors to consider when adopting AI. How does AI at Scale achieve this?

We are committed to the advancement of AI, driven by ethical principles that put people first, and AI at Scale is aligned with these. By creating a common AI foundation that every team can work from, we can efficiently deliver high-value, AI-driven user experiences at massive scale, and with all the privacy and responsible AI considerations our modern society requires.

We have reimagined and redefined how we are developing AI from hardware, to networking, software algorithms, and computing systems. And we’ve made all of this available on Microsoft Azure for any organisation to take advantage of to accelerate its potential for innovation and business transformation. With access to this worldclass technology, technical teams will be able to fasttrack the AI development cycle and deliver business value at an unprecedented pace, quality and price performance.

You can learn more about Microsoft AI at Scale: Explore AI at Scale – Microsoft Innovation

Join AI Expo Africa 2021 Online

AI Expo Africa Press & Media enquiries – enquiries@aiexpoafrica.com