Facebook’s parent company Meta says that its newly-created artificial intelligence (AI) “Research SuperCluster” (RSC) will “pave the way” towards building the Metaverse.
The social media giant said that it believes RSC is already one of the fastest supercomputers in the world and will snag the top spot when it’s fully operational in mid-2022, according to a Jan, 24 blog post unveiling the hardware.
“Developing the next generation of advanced AI will require powerful new computers capable of quintillions of operations per second,” wrote the company.
“Ultimately, the work done with RSC will pave the way toward building technologies for the next major computing platform — the metaverse, where AI-driven applications and products will play an important role.”
CEO Mark Zuckerberg added in a Jan. 25 Facebook post:
“The experiences we’re building for the metaverse require enormous compute power (quintillions of operations/second!) and RSC will enable new AI models that can learn from trillions of examples, understand hundreds of languages, and more.”
The machine will be able to work across hundreds of different languages to develop “advanced AI” for computer vision, natural language processing, and speech recognition.
“We hope RSC will help us build entirely new AI systems that can, for example, power real-time voice translations to large groups of people, each speaking a different language, so they can seamlessly collaborate on a research project or play an AR game together.”
Meta didn’t disclose where the computer is located, or the costs associated with its development and creation.
Decentralized finance analyst Camilla Russo compared Meta’s new machine to the Ethereum network, which is considered by some in the industry to be a global “supercomputer” of sorts already.
facebook @Meta builds a supercomputer in private to better monetize users’ data in its metaverse.
ethereum builds a world computer in the open that allows users to control their data in the metaverse.
not the same. https://t.co/lTFIFRw840
— Camila Russo (@CamiRusso) January 24, 2022
In Dec. 2021, Vice President of Intel’s accelerated computing systems and graphics group, Raja Koduri, said that current computational infrastructure will need to improve a thousand-fold in order to power the Metaverse.
“You need to access to petaflops [one thousand teraflops] of computing in less than a millisecond, less than ten milliseconds for real-time uses,” Koduri told Quartz at the time.
Largely described as the next iteration of the internet, the Metaverse refers to a virtual space where people can work, play and socialize – often by using virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology.
In October, Facebook rebranded as Meta to reflect its renewed focus beyond social media.