The race towards attaining Artificial General Intelligence, or AGI, has been heating up with several key industry players such as Google and Microsoft (with OpenAI) investing significant resources towards it over the recent years. In an Instagram Post, the CEO of Meta, Mark Zuckerberg, announced Meta’s intention to lean heavily into this department now as well.
As per the post, Meta plans to invest in acquiring a whopping 350,000 units of NVIDIA’s H100 AI GPUs by the end of 2024, having access to an equivalent of 600,000 NVIDIA H100 across all their compute units. For reference as per the chart shown below, courtesy of Omdia Research, the closest in number from 2023 is Microsoft with 150,000 H100 GPUs. The rest of the players are even further behind.
Coming in at an average of $30,000 apiece, the 350,000 H100 GPUs will cost Meta around $10.5 billion to acquire, not to mention the subsequent running costs with all the electricity these GPUs will guzzle down at a TDP of 700W each.
Meta is currently training their next-gen model Llama 3, and Mark Zuckerberg has expressed his interest in open-sourcing it “responsibly” in the future. Their previous models, Llama and Llama 2 were open-sourced as well. They also plan to merge their two major AI research efforts, the FAIR (Fundamental AI Research) group and the GenAI department. In a recent interview with The Verge, he took a dig at OpenAI without naming it for this very reason:
“There were all these companies that used to be open, used to publish all their work, and used to talk about how they were going to open source all their work. I think you see the dynamic of people just realizing, ‘Hey, this is going to be a really valuable thing, let’s not share it.’”Mark Zuckerberg to The Verge
Unfortunately, this is indeed the truth as more companies are holding their cards close to their chest with OpenAI being less transparent over the years. AGI if ever achieved by any, will likely be a valuable commodity with the source never to be shared with the public, and in the case of Meta with Mark Zuckerberg having majority control over the company, maybe even resting in the palms of a single person.
Meta’s efforts foraying into the domain of tech have been a rough one, to say the least, with huge losses totaling billions in the Metaverse and VR departments together.
Regardless, if there’s one company to benefit heavily from all this, it’s the supplier of arms to the ongoing battle of AI dominance: NVIDIA. Intel, AMD, and the other suppliers are still catching up and the gap is still wide. As of writing this, NVIDIA’s stocks have reached another all-time high of $594, and show no signs of stopping.