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Reflecting on a Half Year of AI Innovation | Utilizing Tech 06×12

We knew that 2024 would be the year of AI right from the start, but this season of the podcast has seen incredible development and change. This final episode of Utilizing Tech Season 6 features hosts Frederic Van Haren, Allyson Klein, and Stephen Foskett discussing the current state of AI infrastructure half-way through 2024. In addition to AI Field Day, we experienced NVIDIA GTC and numerous product introductions over the last few months. It’s truly an ecosystem play now, with every company showing how well they can partner to build AI infrastructure. At the same time, a few superusers of AI are responsible for the basic models, including Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, and of course OpenAI and the other dedicated generative AI firms. The key to bringing this to the enterprise market is transfer learning, which will see a few base models tuned and trained for specific use cases. This season saw a range of guests discussing storage, data platforms, connectivity, and application development, and every one is focused on delivering practical AI solutions in the enterprise.

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GenAI: From Toy to Tool

The AI industry is experiencing an exponential growth curve. Demand for consumption-based AI services exceeds records, and the trajectory of the AI infrastructure market is on an upward swing. Allied Market Research reports that the market valuation will reach a smashing $309 billion by the end of 2031.

In the season finale of Utilizing AI, hosts, Stephen Foskett, Frederic Van Haren, and Allyson Klein, reflect back on the breakthroughs and advancements of the last quarters, and share their take on the state of the AI infrastructure market as of this point.

The Growth Trajectory So Far

The industry’s biggest AI-focused event, NVIDIA GTC 2024, was held in March. The announcements and conversations of the event indicated some clear trends, and future landscapes. Famously dubbed the “Woodstock of AI”, GTC brought to the attendees the much-anticipated superchip, Grace Blackwell, NVIDIA’s line of next-generation accelerators that is purpose-built to power real-time GenAI deployments.

The spotlight shined on a breadth of new and compelling use cases, and the growing importance of software components in expanding hardware capabilities.

With NVIDIA in the lead, power players like AMD, Intel, and Amazon too have brought new custom chips to the market.

“Every company in the industry is bending over backwards to show just how well they work in the NVIDIA dominated ecosystem,” says Stephen Foskett.

In a very real sense, these industry giants are the ones controlling the AI sector. A bottomless supply of resources and top-of-the-line infrastructures put these guys in the driver’s seat.

Klein agrees, “Our leading innovators of technology – the Microsofts, the Googles, and the Amazons – of the world are out-chasing the dream of having the largest and most powerful LLM-based models, and they’re innovating at a pace and cost that no one else can touch. They’re pushing the bounds of what the hardware ecosystem can deliver to get to that next large model.”

With demand outstripping supply, these behemoths have taken up the reigns of innovation, giving smaller companies dabbling in AI, a plethora of hardware choices that can get them to scale AI into production.

The size of deployment and type of use cases have created two classes of consumers – those that are in the big game, and running the heftiest workloads requiring the fastest and the most robust computing, and smaller outfits that are looking to optimize their operations with AI and can deploy AI on much smaller infrastructures.

“This is the reality we sit in,” says Klein. “They exist across those two worlds – one that needs 10,000 plus GPUs or even more, to train the next model, and the other that is trying to figure out to get simplicity in the infrastructure because they can’t innovate at that rate, but they know that they need to stay ahead of this technology transition to avoid disruption by competitors.”

In the coming months, a lot of the smaller companies will simply rely on transfer learning to support their use cases based on the foundational models developed by the bigger organizations.

GenAI is presently the most influential technology in the developer’s space. Use of GenAI tools have seen massive growth in code generation and testing areas as leading tech companies brought to the market a bourgeoning  selection of AI co-pilots. Some of the biggest companies have adopted it in house to assist developers with coding.

Wrapping Up

With as much disruptive innovation coming out of the AI labs, AI’s trajectory is set for continuous advancement. GenAI services and solutions are augmenting human capabilities across lines of business. It is transparent that the technology will grow exponentially bringing to us many exciting possibilities and opportunities in the future.

The new season of Utilizing AI Podcast featuring Solidigm will focus exclusively on AI infrastructure. Premiering in two weeks, the series will feature many stimulating conversations and discourses on enterprise AI.

To follow the discussion in depth, catch the reruns of the previous episodes of the Utilizing AI Podcast. Check out the presentations from the AI Field Day event to get in the weeds of the technology.

Podcast Information

Thank you for listening to Utilizing AI, part of the Utilizing Tech podcast series. If you enjoyed this discussion, please subscribe in your favorite podcast application and consider leaving us a rating and a nice review on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. This podcast was brought to you by Tech Field Day, now part of The Futurum Group. For show notes and more episodes, head to our dedicated Utilizing Tech Website or find us on X/Twitter and Mastodon at Utilizing Tech.

About the author

Sulagna Saha

Sulagna Saha is a writer at Gestalt IT where she covers all the latest in enterprise IT. She has written widely on miscellaneous topics. On she writes about the hottest technologies in Cloud, AI, Security and sundry.

A writer by day and reader by night, Sulagna can be found busy with a book or browsing through a bookstore in her free time. She also likes cooking fancy things on leisurely weekends. Traveling and movies are other things high on her list of passions. Sulagna works out of the Gestalt IT office in Hudson, Ohio.

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