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Microsoft's Aims To Power AI And Cloud Data Centers With Nuclear Energy!

By TD NewsDesk

TD NewsDesk

Updated on Tue, Sep 26, 2023

Overall Rating
Hey tech folks, did you hear about the latest AI news?

No, this time it isn’t about a new AI content generator or deepfakes. Dive in!

Let’s start with some industry stats about the adoption of AI:

Accelerating Competitive Advantage with AI, a report published by Microsoft, found that businesses utilizing AI at scale outperformed their peers by 11.5% on average in 2018, up from 5% in 2017.

Moreover, AI-driven predictive analytics systems that examine and interpret data were the most widely used (52%) of the AI technologies being embraced by the financial services sector.

Following closely behind at 44% is automation and 43% is Machine Learning (that provide enterprise systems the ability to improve from experience) while at 40% we have Robotic Process Automation, which is used for payroll processing and call center operations, among other things. The greatest percentage increase from the previous year was found in automation, at 16 percent. No surprise there, right?

After all, generative AI has all but automated the creation of audio, text, videos, image, code and whatnot! This is why Microsoft is pouring money into AI initiatives. The latest move? Looking to the future by developing small nuclear reactors to supply energy to AI and cloud data centers!

Microsoft's is currently hiring for a nuclear technology expert for integrating small modular nuclear reactors and microreactors "to power the data centers that the Microsoft Cloud and AI reside on," according to a job description released on Thursday.

Microsoft advertised the position as a "principal programme manager for nuclear technology," who "will be responsible for maturing and implementing a global Small Modular Reactor (SMR) and microreactor energy strategy," among other duties. Microsoft is exploring nuclear fission which involves the splitting of atoms to release stored energy.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates serves as chairman of the board for TerraPower, a nuclear innovation business working on the development and scalability of compact modular reactor designs. Despite what you may have heard, TerraPower "does not currently have any agreements to sell reactors to Microsoft," according to a company spokeswoman who talked with CNBC.

However, the company has made public its intention to pursue nuclear energy from a fusion pioneer.
   

How Is Microsoft Changing The Game With This Move?


Microsoft stated in January that it will be investing billions of dollars in OpenAI, the company behind the popular AI chatbot ChatGPT. Yet, Microsoft only recently revealed it would also be purchasing electricity from nuclear fusion startup Helion beginning in 2028. The founder and CEO of OpenAI, Sam Altman, is a major backer of Helion.

During nuclear fusion, two lighter atomic nuclei collide to create a heavier nucleus, releasing vast amounts of energy in the process. It's how the sun generates energy. Since fusion has the potential to provide almost endless clean energy, numerous venture-backed firms are attempting to make it a reality here on Earth.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that 18% of the country's total power is produced by the nation's current fleet of nuclear reactors, most of which were constructed between 1970 and 1990. In 2022, the United States will generate 47% of its carbon-free electricity from nuclear power, as reported by the Department of Energy.

Smaller nuclear reactors are seen as the best hope for the next generation of nuclear reactor technology in the United States, The recent job posting by Microsoft suggests that the corporation is interested in deploying such reactors to power its AI and cloud data centers. While Microsoft has always backed new technologies, it looks like this move will set the standard for clean energy generation for energy-intensive applications such as AI and cloud computing.
 
Will Microsoft's adoption of nuclear reactor for its AI servers kick off a clean energy revolution? Should other energy-intensive industries also adopt a similar approach?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

First published on Tue, Sep 26, 2023

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Tags:

Artificial Intelligence (AI)Microsoft Nuclear Energy Expert AI Cloud Data Centers Sustainable Technology Green Energy Innovation

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