Thursday, July 14, 2016

Exploring Facebook’s massive, picture-painting AI brain | The Verge

Excerpt from a tour of Facebook's Prineville data center
"Central to every one of these features is machine learning, an AI training technique that’s nearly as old as the field of AI itself. But thanks to the massive data sets now available and recent leaps in computing power, machine learning has become an increasingly effective way to improve this type of software over time. Facebook, like many of its competitors, uses machine learning to train neural networks, which are algorithms inspired by the human brain that draw patterns and pluck probabilistic findings out of complex data sets.

"The first time we trained a single neural net, it took three months," says Ian Buck, Nvidia’s VP of accelerated computing, who works closely with Facebook’s AI and data center teams. After optimizing the training hardware with newer Nvidia GPUs, the time was cut down to one month. With Big Sur using the latest Nvidia hardware, he adds, it’s now less than a single day to train a neural net to perform a task that once required a human being."
Exploring Facebook’s massive, picture-painting AI brain | The Verge

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