Britain pressed the button to build an exascale-class supercomputer. The UK will spend billions of dollars on a computer called “BritGPT” to advance artificial intelligence technology. Countries as well as technology companies do not want to be left behind in artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. Because artificial intelligence will probably be among the largest industries in the coming years. In this context, the United Kingdom, which does not want to be left behind in the competition, is investing heavily to build the next exascale supercomputer.
The UK has announced plans to invest £900 million ($1.1 billion) in a new supercomputer to build its own GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) AI model. Temporarily named “BritGPT“, this computer will be one of the most powerful computing devices in the world, capable of over a billion calculations per second (exaflops). Currently the only supercomputer built at this scale is the “Frontier” located at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the USA.
UK to become AI leader
UK aims to use the supercomputer to develop artificial intelligence technologies that can be used in various sectors from health to finance. When the investment is completed, England will be one of the leading countries in artificial intelligence technologies. British officials are worried about being left behind in the artificial intelligence industry, which is currently dominated by the USA and China.
IT Group’s Chief Data and Artificial Intelligence Officer Adrian Joseph, succumbing to China and dealing with cybersecurity, healthcare, etc. While expressing that there is a risk of falling behind in areas, he compared it to an arms race; “It’s a huge arms race that’s been going on for a while, but it’s clear that the heat has increased recently.” UK Finance Minister, Jeremy Hunt, said, “I am dedicating approximately £900 million in funding for a large-scale supercomputer today, as artificial intelligence needs computing horsepower.”
Recent developments in OpenAI’s ChatGPT and other companies’ major language models (LLM) have fueled the race even more. The UK government is offering massive support packages to R&D and startups to support the growth of AI-related businesses in the country. With BritGPT, big data will be processed much faster and more accurately. This processing power will enable AI models to be trained more effectively.
A spokesperson for the British Treasury said: “This investment will allow researchers to better understand climate change, power the discovery of new drugs and maximize our AI potential.” The £900 million investment includes £10 million annually for AI innovations. Additionally, each year for the next ten years, research groups will compete for the £1 million “Manchester Prize”, a reference to the Manchester Baby, the first computer built at the University of Manchester in 1948. The award was the most significant for that year.