Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan’s foundation is funding the construction of a massive computing system for medical research. It will be made up of more than 1,000 GPUs. And it’s not just any graphics card: these are top-of-the-line H100 GPUs that are highly sought after for AI-focused servers.
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) is making some really bold claims about what it hopes this computer system can do. TO Press release states that the computer system “will lead to innovative new discoveries that could help cure, prevent or control all diseases by the end of this century.”
The goal is to give researchers access to generative AI to study healthy and diseased cells. Using predictive models of human cells can help researchers better understand how the body responds to diseases or new drugs. It’s like running a “virtual cell” through different simulations to see what might happen, as CZI co-founders Chan and her husband Zuckerberg put it in a rehearsal in MIT Technology Review.
“AI models could predict how an immune cell responds to an infection, what happens at the cellular level when a child is born with a rare disease, or even how a patient’s body will respond to a new drug.”
“AI models could predict how an immune cell responds to an infection, what happens at the cellular level when a child is born with a rare disease, or even how a patient’s body will respond to a new drug,” Chan says in the release. press. .
The thing is, these tools can be so expensive that they are out of reach for many scientists. That’s what CZI wants to change. The new GPU cluster is expected to power “openly available” human cell models to accelerate medical research and encourage scientists to work collaboratively, CZI says.
To develop new AI models, the CZI-funded computing system will be trained on existing data sets. That includes data from Chan Zuckerberg’s software. tool which has already cataloged some 50 million unique cells.
Once completed, the new computer system is expected to be one of the largest AI clusters used for nonprofit research. But it still won’t be as large as similar systems used to develop commercial products in the private sector, according to the MIT Technology Review rehearsal.
CZI’s Biohub Network will purchase the GPUs. The “biohubs” bring together different technological and scientific institutions “with the aim of pursuing major scientific challenges over a time horizon of 10 to 15 years,” according to the network. A team from the San Francisco biocenter is tasked with setting up the new computer system.