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This week, OpenAI published an analysis that documents an explosion in compute power over the past six years, which is driving advances in artificial intelligence. Compute power used in the largest AI training runs, the piece found, has doubled every 3.5 months since 2012.

The breakdown of compute power necessary to create well-known AI systems like ResNets and AlphaGo Zero provides some of the clearest metrics available to demonstrate why AI is growing faster and proliferating to all corners of society. Together with big data and improvements to algorithms, this boom in compute is carving paths to the future for both businesses and the rest of the world.

This week, the international community met in Geneva for the AI for Good Global Summit to discuss how AI can be used to make progress toward the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals like zero hunger, no poverty, and good health.

We also heard this week about AI being used to decide how to loan money to people with no credit or banking history, and that a dozen Google employees resigned due to the company’s involvement in a Department of Defense project to improve drone video analysis.

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OpenAI’s analysis reaches a fairly obvious but salient conclusion sure to define the years ahead: “Improvements in compute have been a key component of AI progress, so as long as this trend continues, it’s worth preparing for the implications of systems far outside today’s capabilities.”

In other words: Whether you want to call AI the new oil, the new electricity, or the spark that ignited an industrial revolution, expect more, a lot more from all of the aforementioned.

Let’s just hope Henry Kissinger’s vision of AI conquering humanity like Spanish conquistadors conquered the Incas comes true.

For AI coverage, send news tips to Kyle Wiggers and Khari Johnson, and guest post submissions to Cosette Jarrett — and be sure to bookmark our AI Channel.

Thanks for reading,

Khari Johnson
AI Staff Writer

P.S. Please enjoy this video of an autonomous vehicle with no driver traversing the roads of Frisco, Texas. See this story for more info.

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