Kathy Gibson reports from Gitex, Dubai – The fastest artificial intelligence (AI) supercomputer in the world has been unveiled in the US, by UAE-based technology group G42.

The new computer, Condor Galaxy, is based on 16 massive wafer semiconductors and will be used to address the most pressing global issues like healthcare and security, says Peng Xiao, group CEO of G42.

He point out that the recent buzz about AI is largely a result of generative AI models like ChatGPT sparking the popular imagination at the consumer level – but AI itself has been a viable technology vertical for decades.

“With the launch of ChatGPT, however, the world realised at a consumer level that there is an intelligent being here that they can engage with – AI became personalised.

“Machine learning was always about building neural networks; GenAI is more about being able to mimic human thinking, And the key word here is mimic.”

It’s what’s coming down the line in GenAI development that will be truly innovative, Xiao adds. “Artificial general intelligence (AGI) will be the next major milestone. And this won’t be the end of AI development, but the beginning of even greater things to come.”

He explains that AGI is when AI will be able to match human intelligence in its entirety rather than simply mimic it. And Xiao believes this is within our grasp within the next decade.

Such a leap in AI development brings with it a raft of both challenges and opportunities.

“As a practicing scientist and businessperson, I see the positivity in AGI,” Xiao says.

“We talk about machines matching human intelligence, but we have to ask if humans really are that intelligent. If we are, why is the world on the brink of a nuclear war? Why is there a new flare-up of fighting in the Middle East?

“If we really are so intelligent, why do these things happen?”

In future, Xiao believes that AGI will help humanity by giving us more options and better alternatives to pursue. “It is far from being able to control our behaviour, but could be one tool that will help us to see more and find better solutions.

“When AIG gets to match human intelligence, it will be able to ask and answer more profound questions.”

Xiao stresses that G42 is working with other players in the technology industry to ensure that biases and preconceptions are not entrenched into AI.

We are working together with other tech companies to set up lobal collaboration to ensure our biases are not entrenched in AI.

In order for technology to advance to the point of AGI, Xiao says it requires brainpower, muscle and food.

“Data is the food; the brainpower comes from the scientists that come up with the algorithms to help AI solve problems; and the muscle comes from computers like Condor Galaxy.”

The new supercomputer is built on 16 massive tablet-sized semiconductors developed by Cerebras Systems, with a massive 2,6-billion transistors capable of computing at 1-metaflop – or a billion-billion calculations per second.

Although Condor Galaxy takes the title of the fastest AI supercomputer in the world, Xiao stresses that AI endeavour shouldn’t ne perceived as a race. “Yes, there is a race and some nations seem to view it as a winner takes all. But in the UAE, we believe the better way is collaboration. Unlike some of the hyperscalers we are not hoarding supercomputers, but are opening Condor Galaxy up the world.

“We believe that AI is about working together, not winning at any cost.”

On the subject of AI regulation and governance, Xiao says each of the ecosystem players has a role and responsibility of care.

“There are many risks in AI. That’s why we have to try to embed humanity into the systems; and to build guard rails around the technology.”