Microsoft is building an AI group from the ground up to tackle the Singularity

Kareem Anderson

Microsoft is on the hunt for some talented people to help drive its new AI platform codenamed “Singularity.”

For those of you paying attention, yes, Microsoft has used the codename Singularity before and from those efforts produced the Midori, Drawbridge, and Helio research projects with two being alternatives to Windows and new programming environments and one as multiprocessing platform using satellite kernels.

However, according to a report from Mary Jo Foley over at ZDNet, Microsoft Azure and Research teams posted a job listing to create a new group, separate from its current Azure AI team, to peruse opportunities both “inside Microsoft and outside,” that also makes use of the codename Singularity.

As with most things produced from for-profit entities, the newly proposed Singularity group would be tasked with providing researchers with commercially based solutions to help build to scale models based on the company’s specific AI distributed infrastructure service.

In a recent publishing from some of the people in the new Singularity group called Singularity: Planet, Scale, Preemptible and Elastic Scheduling of AI Workloads, there are some finer details about the division’s efforts to create “workload-aware scheduler that can transparently preempt and elastically scale deep learning workloads to drive high utilization without impacting their correctness or performance across a global fleet of AI accelerators (e.g., GPUs. FPGAs).”

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Perhaps closing the loop on its previous Project Brainwave, Microsoft’s efforts to streamline its AI accelerator efforts could come full circle with solutions produced by the new Singularity group. Project Brainwave oversaw efforts to create faster AI and Machine Learning processing within the Azure platform, and it now looks like Brainwave and Singularity will work in conjunction to close the gap on FPGA processing in the commercial sector.

With the posting recently discovered, Microsoft still feels a way off from turning the interesting research endeavors into commercially viable solutions, but they have several of the foundational pieces in place to counter would-be competitors such as Meta (formerly Facebook) who are also looking into AI supercomputing to power its own Metaverse.

For a more entertaining read on AI, the Singularity Metaverse interactions, I would recommend reading some of Mark Russinovich’s fictional work. Russinovich is the Azure CTO and co-author the Singularity’s recent group publishing listed above, but in his off time, he’s authored some thrilling fictional work that incorporates all of the themes from his day job in titles such as Trojan Horse, Zero Day and Rogue Code.