Easier Access to AI Computing Capacity Provided by Jed McCaleb-backed Nonprofit
Jed McCaleb, co-founder of Ripple, is spearheading a nonprofit organization called Navigation Fund that aims to address the AI chip shortage by offering leasable computing capacity for large machine learning models. The organization recently launched a new cloud platform on October 29th, which provides hourly, monthly, or long-term access to its computing infrastructure.
One of Navigation Fund’s subsidiaries, Voltage Park, currently offers bare-metal access to high-performance computing for large-scale users. The organization plans to expand its services by early 2024. Voltage Park boasts around 24,000 NVIDIA H100 graphics processing units (GPUs) arranged in interconnected clusters. The total value of their hardware is estimated to be $500 million.
Tackling the Broken Market for Cutting-Edge ML Compute
Voltage Park identified a broken market for cutting-edge machine learning (ML) compute and aims to make ML infrastructure more accessible to startups, researchers, and AI labs. In their announcement, Voltage Park highlights the challenges faced by these entities in procuring the latest chips for ML training. To address this issue, Voltage Park is currently running auctions for contracts ranging from one to three months, with access to 1,560 GPUs.
The vision of Navigation Fund goes beyond providing access to AI computing capacity. The organization was established in 2023 to support a range of causes, including promoting safe AI. In addition to the grants it plans to offer this year, Navigation Fund intends to expand its programs in early 2024.
Jed McCaleb: From Mt. Gox to Stellar and Beyond
Jed McCaleb is no stranger to the cryptocurrency and technology space. He created Mt. Gox, originally a platform for trading Magic: The Gathering cards, which later transitioned into one of the first Bitcoin (BTC) exchanges. McCaleb sold Mt. Gox in 2011, a few years before its infamous collapse.
After his stint with Mt. Gox, McCaleb co-founded Ripple Labs, contributing to the development of the Ripple blockchain. However, he eventually left Ripple and became a co-founder of the Stellar blockchain. McCaleb’s entrepreneurial endeavors extend beyond the crypto world, as he started a space station startup in 2022, collaborating with Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
Editor Notes: A Promising Move towards Democratizing AI Computing
The initiative led by Jed McCaleb-backed nonprofit Navigation Fund has the potential to revolutionize the accessibility of AI computing capacity. By addressing the shortage of AI chips and offering leasable computing power, the organization paves the way for startups, researchers, and AI labs to harness cutting-edge machine learning models.
This development aligns with the growing need for democratizing access to advanced technologies like AI. With the availability of affordable and scalable computing resources, the barriers to entry in the AI space will be lowered, opening doors for innovation and advancements in various industries.
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