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Aleph Alpha

Jun 08, 2022

Graphcore and Aleph Alpha partner on large, multi-modal AI models

Written By:

Andreas Scheffer

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European AI leaders, Graphcore and Aleph Alpha will work together on research and deployment of Aleph Alpha’s advanced multi-modal models on current IPU systems and the next-generation Good Computer, thanks to a new partnership between the two companies.

Under the agreement, engineers and researchers from Graphcore and Aleph Alpha will work together to co-optimize their respective technologies for pre-training, fine-tuning, and inference of next generation multi-modal language and vision models.

Aleph Alpha has received widespread acclaim for its highly versatile Luminous AI model with up to 200bn+ parameters, with its multi-modal functionality. Luminous enables unique opportunities for customers in a wide range of language and vision fields such as image recognition, knowledge management, document processing, text generation as well as powerful conversational AI applications.

Graphcore’s made-for-AI Intelligence Processing Unit (IPU) systems accelerate artificial intelligence workloads across industries as diverse as finance, physics, pharmacology, and meteorology.

Architectures and methods

“A big driver for today’s groundbreaking AI-capabilities has been the scale-up in compute and I expect further improvements with new hardware generations. However, innovation here is not only about raw compute power, but also about architectures and methods that are significantly helped or prohibited by the available AI accelerator hardware.

“Graphcore’s IPU offers a new opportunity to evaluate advanced technological approaches such as conditional sparsity. These architectures will undoubtedly play a role in Aleph Alpha’s future research,” said Jonas Andrulis, CEO & Founder at Aleph Alpha.

“In a field previously dominated by hyperscalers and large labs, Aleph Alpha has quickly established itself as a leading player in the development of big, multi-modal AI models. We are delighted to be working with their talented team to co-optimise our technology roadmap.

“Together we look forward to delivering ever more sophisticated products that will, in turn, enable the creation of countless new businesses and applications,” said Nigel Toon, Graphcore Co-founder and CEO.

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Aleph Alpha supports a wide range of applications including copywriting, translation, Q+A, and sentiment analysis.

European AI excellence

Graphcore and Aleph Alpha’s partnership represents the coming together of two of Europe’s most exciting AI companies which have together attracted more than €700m of investment.

AI strategies at both European Union and national level have urged an increased focus on European-led innovation and data sovereignty, with the title of EU’s coordinated plan perfectly encapsulating the scale and nature of this ambition - AI Excellence: From the lab to the market.

The availability of a world-leading model built in Germany, running on hardware and software systems from a UK-based company offers a very tangible example of what a successful European AI ecosystem might look like.