Alibaba oulines plans for quantum processors, AI chips
At its annual Computing Conference held this week in Hangzhou, China, Alibaba laid out a roadmap for the development of cutting-edge technologies over the next five years that include its own quantum computing processors and customized AI chips.
Making the chip
The Alibaba DAMO Academy will start developing its own quantum processors with high-precision, multi-qubit hardware. This comes on top of existing initiatives that hope to apply quantum processing towards solving fundamental problems around machine learning and physics simulations.
Alibaba expects that in time, commercial products resulting from its research will be introduced to bring value to its customers across a diverse range of industries.
The Chinese company also announced the establishment of an as-yet-unnamed subsidiary that will focus on customized AI chips and embedded processors to further support Alibaba's growing cloud and IoT businesses.
Focus on AI
While its AI chip-making projects are still in their nascent stage, Dr. Rong Jin, the head of machine intelligence technologies at Alibaba, shed more light on the company’s various AI-centric development efforts in a media briefing.
“The key difference between our research entity, it is not just about developing state-of-the-art technology, but to ensure that the technology can be applied and used to solve real challenges,” he said.
He pointed to the popular image search functionality used by Taobao shoppers to perform a reverse search of items they want to buy, noting that it’s one example of the kind of practical AI research Alibaba has focused on.
“One thing to keep in mind is there are 300 million items on Taobao. That is a huge database. For every query issued by a user, you must compare this image to 300 million profiles and make an accurate decision about which is likely to be the right item,” Rong Jin explained.
“The sheer scale causes challenges not just in engineering, but also results in tremendous challenges in the matching and recognition process. You have to capture all the important details.”
The DAMO Academy has over 300 researchers around the world and has partnered with academic institutions such as the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University. Alibaba did not share the number of researchers in its new AI-focused chip unit.
“Alibaba has been a leading technology innovator in cloud computing and artificial intelligence since we announced our determination to transform into a technology powerhouse two years ago,” said Jeff Zhang, CTO of Alibaba Group.
“The establishment of Alibaba DAMO Academy and its achievements over the past year underlie our strong commitment to technology leadership. Moving ahead, we are confident that our advantages in algorithms, data intelligence, computing power and domain knowledge on the back of Alibaba's diverse ecosystem will put us at a unique position to lead real technology breakthroughs in disruptive areas, such as quantum and chip technology.”
Industry: Data Centre & Artificial Intelligence News
- Cloud Network Engineer
- Up to £35,000 Base + Bonus + Possible Share Options
One of our clients, an exciting UK based start-up is on the lookout for a Cloud Network Engineer in Yorkshire. The Cloud Network Engineer will need current CCNA / CCNP level networking experience (Cisco, BGP, IP etc.), cloud networking understanding (Azure, AWS etc.) and current experience ideally within a client facing / consultancy role. (Cloud Engineer, Network Engineer, Azure, AWS, Amazon Web Services) Reference Number: PG7477
- Senior Service Desk Analyst
- Up to £32,000 Base + £6,400 Shift Allowance
We are currently working on behalf of an IT Service Provider based in Wiltshire who are on the lookout for a Senior Service Desk Analyst. The Senior Service Desk Analyst will be responsible for logging, managing and escalating internal & external incidents and requests. This is an excellent opportunity to join a business recognised for what they do and work with a number of top UK businesses. You’ll be able to manage your career development and gain additional training e.g. certifications etc. This role will include a shift (4 days on then 4 days off) which covers 24/7 12 hour shifts The ideal candidate will be currently working in a IT service desk / IT support role ideally in an IT Services business. Reference Number: PG7476 (Service Desk Administrator, Analyst, Support, Service Desk Support, shift work, traning, Information Technology, Customer service, Customer support)
- Data Centre Service Delivery Manager
- Up to £50,000 + Package
A Data Centre Service Delivery Manager is needed to join a specialist connectivity provider in Hertfordshire. The company is going through a huge growth programme and this is an excellent opening for someone to join a business who are working with globally recognised organisations. You’ll be responsible for: Supporting the Commercial Director with management of existing and potential customers being the main point of contact. Maintaining and improving the company’s current and new services Customer relationship management Attending customer meetings in order to provide guidance to customers Keeping up a high quality level of service Updating appropriate documentation such as policy and procedures and making sure these are in place and followed Change and Incident management Service Level Agreements Experience required Must have current experience working in a Data centre environment in a Service Delivery role. An understanding of Data Centre technology and terminology. Experience of dealing with people of all levels within a business (Engineers to Board level) In return you'll have the ability to work in a cutting edge environment and work with a variety of well known international clients REF: PG7475
- Data Centre Account Director
- Up to £80.000 base with uncapped commission
Our client is looking for a Data Centre Account Director, the goal of this position is to be a trusted partner / primary point of contact and to achieve sales and margin expectations. You will also be growing new business and long-term growth across data centre services, Building good customer relationship at all levels for revenue growth and customer retention Working with presales specialists to propose relevant and cost effective data centre solutions for customers Understanding and identifying customers’ needs Leading bids, RFPs and proposals submissions Driving new business 60% of your time to new hyperscalers or enteprise customers. The ideal candidate should possess 5 years’ experience in selling Data Centre services. Self-driven, energetic, resourceful, creative and good account management skills and new business skills Ability to build good customer relationship at all levels, Be able to work independently. Reference Number: BD7467 (Data Centre, Data Center, Data Centre Sales, Data Center Sales)