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Elon Musk and OpenAI are forcing a supercomputer to read Reddit comments

by Jacob Kleinman | August 20, 2016August 20, 2016 3:00 pm EST

openai musk super computer

Earlier this year Elon Musk announced plans to push further into artificial intelligence research through OpenAI, a non-profit research firm where he serves as co-chairs. Now the organization has revealed a surprising new plan to train its AI by forcing it to read through Reddit comment threads.

MIT Technology Review reports that OpenAI plans to run the project on a new DGX-1 supercomputer developed by NVIDIA. The computer was hand-delivered to Musk by NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang. It costs $129,000 and packs 170 teraflops of computing power (that’s about as much as 250 regular servers).

DGX-1 is specifically designed for deep learning, a branch of machine learning which focuses on feeding large amounts of data into an AI network. The more data the computer takes in the faster it will get. “Deep learning is a very special class of models because as you scale up the models, they always work better,” said OpenAI researcher Andrej Karpathy.

So essentially, OpenAI is using Reddit and its endless threads of debates, inside jokes and flame wars to beef up the DGX-1. The result should be an extremely powerful supercomputer capable of reading through human conversation at an astonishing rate. Just don’t be surprised if it ends up turning around and calling you a noob as a result.

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...