The UK government has reportedly pledged to invest £900 million ($1.1 billion) towards developing a cutting-edge supercomputer, to create its own GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) AI model, as part of a broader artificial intelligence strategy that aims to establish a new AI research body in the nation.
The exascale computer dubbed “BritGPT” would be several times more powerful than the UK’s biggest computers capable of carrying out more than one billion billion simple calculations a second, a metric known as an “exaflops”.
The Guardian noted that the supercomputer would be used for training complex AI models, that can be used across various sectors like science, industry and defence, including modelling weather forecasts and climate projections.
Acknowledging the recent breakthroughs in large language models, the technology behind chatbots such as OpenAI’s chatGPT, a sensation since its launch last year, the UK government said it would establish a task force “to advance UK sovereign capability in foundation models, including large language models.”
The investment in the technology is aimed at acting as a counterweight to the quasi-monopoly on ML/AI by the USA and Chinese megacorps.
The government is also investing £2.5 billion over the next decade in quantum technologies. Quantum computing is based on quantum physics – which looks at how the subatomic particles that make up the universe work – and quantum computers are capable of computing their way through vast numbers of different outcomes.