Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Thursday, September 28, 2023

OpenAI Rival Inflection AI Raises $1.3B to Enhance Its Pi Chatbot 


Palo Alto-based Inflection AI, an OpenAI competitor, announced it has raised $1.3 billion in a funding round led by Microsoft, Reid Hoffman, Bill Gates, Eric Schmidt, and new investor Nvidia for a total of $1.525 billion raised.

This latest round places the company’s valuation around $4 billion, according to a Reuters report.

Inflection AI claims to be building the largest AI cluster in the world along with partners CoreWeave and Nvidia. When completed, the system will be comprised of 22,000 Nvidia H100 Tensor Core GPUs, a release stated.

“The deployment of 22,000 NVIDIA H100 GPUs in one cluster is truly unprecedented and will support training and deployment of a new generation of large-scale AI models. Combined, the cluster develops a staggering 22 exaFLOPS in the 16-bit precision mode, and even more if lower precision is utilized,” the company said.

The current system contains over 3,500 H100s and recently completed the reference training task of open source benchmark MLPerf in 11 minutes. Inflection AI collaborated with Nvidia and CoreWeave to run the MLPerf tests and fine-tune and optimize the cluster.

The company has developed a large language model, Inflection-1, that enables interaction with Pi, a personal AI chatbot. The company says the new funds will support its continued work of building and supporting Pi. Inflection AI describes Pi as “a new class of AI” designed to be a “kind and supportive companion offering text and voice conversations, friendly advice, and concise information in a natural, flowing style.”

Pi, which stands for “personal intelligence,” is marketed as an AI focused on prioritizing the interests of people both in its functionality and monetization. “Imagine your personal AI companion with the single mission of making you happier, healthier, and more productive,” wrote Mustafa Suleyman, CEO and co-founder of Inflection AI in a blog post.

Instead of the big tech companies prioritizing advertisers and content creators, Inflection AI is trying a different approach, Suleyman says.

“We don’t have all the answers, but we are setting out to develop a personal intelligence that really does work for you, that’s in your corner, always on your team. Our mission is to firmly align your AI with you, and your interests, above all else. It means designing an AI that helps you articulate your intentions, organize your life and be there for you when you need it,” he wrote.

Suleyman, a co-founder of Google’s DeepMind, created Inflection AI in 2022 along with LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and DeepMind alum Karén Simonyan, Inflection AI’s chief scientist.

The founders have made Inflection AI a public benefit corporation (PBC), which they say gives them a legal obligation to run the company in a way that “balances the financial interests of stockholders, the best interests of people materially affected by our activities, and the promotion of our specific public benefit purpose,” which is to “develop products and technologies that harness the power of AI to improve human well-being and productivity, whilst respecting individual freedoms, working for the common good and ensuring our products widely benefit current and future generations.”

“A powerful benefit of the AI revolution is the ability to use natural, conversational language to interact with supercomputers to simplify aspects of our everyday lives,” said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of Nvidia in a release. “The world-class team at Inflection AI is helping to lead this groundbreaking work, deploying NVIDIA AI technology to develop, train and deploy massive generative AI models that enable amazing personal digital assistants.”

“We are very excited to partner with Inflection AI, a pioneering AI company with an outstanding team, to bring the power of supercomputing to cutting edge consumer products,” said Michael Intrator, CEO of CoreWeave.