Artificial intelligence (AI) development takes time and involves some trial and error. Being cost-effective is something many AI companies struggle with. Microsoft wants to help streamlines the costs of AI development and reduce errors with its new AI service, codenamed Singularity.
Now, ignoring the scary connotations of the word singularity, a point in time when technology development becomes uncontrollable, Microsoft wants its service to provide a global AI computing solution.
In a paper from Microsoft Research and Microsoft Azure titled Singularity: Planet-Scale, Preemptive and Elastic Scheduling of AI Workloads (PDF), Microsoft discusses its plans for the new services:
“Singularity is a fully managed, globally distributed infrastructure service for AI workloads at Microsoft, with support for diverse hardware accelerators. Singularity is designed from the ground up to scale across a global fleet of hundreds of thousands of GPUs and other AI accelerators,” explains Microsoft’s Azure and Research teams.
“Singularity is built with one key goal: driving down the cost of AI by maximizing the aggregate useful throughput on a given fixed pool of capacity of accelerators at planet scale, while providing stringent SLAs for multiple pricing tiers.”
What Microsoft is basically doing with Singularity is combining a massive number of AI acceleratoes and GPUs to create a global infrastructure. The idea is to help AI creators to avoid wasted developments. Each device in the infrastructure is part of the cluster, allowing that each works to its potential.
Microsoft Singularity is also adaptable depending on the workload.
“While opportunistically using spare capacity, Singularity simultaneously provides isolation by respecting job-level SLAs,” says Microsoft. “For example, Singularity adapts to increasing load on an inference job, freeing up capacity by elastically scaling down or preempting training jobs.”
Singularity is a major step forward for AI development, although Microsoft has not said its overriding plans for the platform or when it will fully launch.
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