DUBAI: It seems only fitting that the world’s biggest computer chip, developed by US-based Cerebras, be deployed in the Middle East, home to some of the world’s entertaining superlatives — biggest tower, deepest swimming pool, among many other “firsts.”
But this chip, roughly 9 inches on each side, promises more than just entertainment and a world title — it is meant to push artificial intelligence computing to levels the world has not seen before.
“What we have built at Cerebras is a new type of processor and a new class of computer systems that is built from the ground up to be optimized for AI computing, delivering training for state-of-the-art models not in days, weeks, or months, but in minutes or hours,” Andy Hock, vice president of product at Cerebras, said.
Bringing down the time to create sophisticated AI models could be key to solving some of the world’s biggest challenges — including drug research and climate action — especially in the Middle East where governments have emphasized the importance of technology in “building the future.”
Hock, who was speaking to Arab News on the sidelines of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit in Dubai, said the region is “very ready” for this technology.
“There are world-class academics, national, and industry organizations that are already operating at the top tier in the world who just want to be faster,” he said.
The American chipmaker is launching the product in the UAE through a partnership with G42, a homegrown cloud computing company in Abu Dhabi.
Hock did not disclose who have specifically bought their massive computer chips, but said they are “working through the technical details with our partners at G42.”
“We understand there is a broad range of potential projects and stakeholders ranging from large Arabic language modeling to applications in healthcare for large-scale genomics and other health and life sciences applications, to applications in earth observation, satellite imaging, and remote sensing,” he said.
Rupal Hollenback, the company’s chief marketing officer, said Cerebras is looking to work on both government projects and industry applications in the region.
Cerebras, now valued at $4 billion after its recent Series F funding round, has a few success stories up its sleeve, perhaps most notably their early work with British drugmaker GSK to “accelerate new drug discovery to build new therapies more quickly.”
The pharmaceutical giant is using Cerebras’ technology to significantly reduce the amount of time preparing a drug for more advanced stages of research, consequently cutting down time to introduce a new drug to the market.
“The personal benefit is so clear when you’re able to get through trial and get a drug to market faster for the consumer,” Hollenback said.
Cerebras is hoping to replicate these results in the Middle East, initially focusing on the UAE, and eventually scaling to other parts of the region.
“(Our partnership with G42) will be a tipping point for us in the region to expand,” Hock said.