Irish News

New AI supercomputer launched at Cork Institute of Technology

By Business & Finance
04 November 2020
Pictured: Dr Barry O’Connor, President of CIT, Dr Ted Scully, Dept of Computer Science, Michael Loftus, Vice President for External Affairs CIT, Dr Donna O’Shea, Dr Seán McSweeney, Department of Computer Science, Tim Horgan, Department of Computing Science and Bob Savage, Vice-President, Dell Technologies and Chair of CIT’s Governing Body at the CIT Bishopstown campus

New supercomputer provided by Dell Technologies to unlock the power of AI and aid research for CIT students

Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), with the support of Dell Technologies, has unveiled a new Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform that aims to help students and researchers build technology to help transform Ireland’s economy and society.

CIT says their partnership with Dell Technologies will enable the institute to keep pace with advancements in AI, data analytics, and machine learning.

Jason Ward, Vice-President and Managing Director, Dell Technologies Ireland said of this development: “We’re delighted to be working with one of Ireland’s most forward thinking third level colleges to help power their research capabilities that in time will transform the way we live, work and do business.

“Our teams have worked closely with the team at CIT to better understand their needs and put in place a high-performance computing solution that can drive more accurate research results and prepare for our AI-enabled future. We’re looking forward to seeing the new innovations unleashed by the new AI platform over the coming years.”

By installing an AI platform powered by a supercomputer, researchers at CIT are now able to gain real-time insights into large data sets and accelerate their projects in areas such as manufacturing, finance, marketing, and agriculture. The new AI platform will equip CIT with a platform to produce AI models, and will also be available to postgraduate students in the MSc in Artificial Intelligence. As part of the AI partnership, CIT were provided access to Dell Technologies AI Lab in Limerick.

CIT’s Head of Research, Dr Niall Smith, said: “In 2019, CIT secured €15.4 million in research funding. The provision of this key computing infrastructure enables CIT researchers, and our many academic and industry collaborators, to develop innovative solutions to problems in almost any domain including ICT, agritech, maritime, and space.

“Taking advantage of the considerable expertise of the CIT research community in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, our partners will be supported in their research and development, irrespective of their competency in high-performance computing. We would like to acknowledge the support provided by funding from the annual Research Funding grant from the HEA.”

Dr Ted Scully, the programme coordinator for CIT’s MSc in Artificial Intelligence, said: “The provision of sufficient computing power is a critical enabler of modern AI. Students in the MSc in AI can leverage the new platform to build highly complex state-of-the-art AI models.”

Over the last number of years, AI has had a transformative impact across a broad range of industries. The creation of advanced AI tools and techniques require massive amounts of computing power. In fact, according to OpenAI, a well-known AI research lab, the computational power needed to create the largest AI models doubled every 3/4 months between 2012 and 2018. The new partnership between CIT and Dell Technologies is helping to solve these challenges by simplifying the development and production of AI models.