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Accolades & Honors

A Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center system was selected for the National AI Research Resource Pilot Program

The University of Pittsburgh campus on a snowy day

The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center’s (PSC) Neocortex system is among six artificial intelligence supercomputers in the U.S. chosen to participate in a pilot program to support AI research and education at a national scale.

The National AI Research Resource (NAIRR) will also utilize allocations software and procedures the PSC and its partners have developed in the ACCESS project, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in collaboration with 10 other federal agency partners, including the Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health. The program’s proof-of-concept launch phase will focus on “trustworthy AI.”

Neocortex is available for the NAIRR pilot project in part because of its innovative, AI-specialized design. Meant to advance the state of AI beyond what was possible with graphics processing units pioneered in the mid 2010s, the system makes use of two Cerebras “wafer scale engines,” a new computing architecture meant to ease AI machine learning with massive data-handling ability, which along with a massive HPE Superdome Flex server coordinates communications and computation between them.

“The National AI Research Resource program will play a key role in defining AI’s impact on scientific and engineering research, influencing daily life in the U.S. and across the globe,” said Paola Buitrago, PSC’s director of AI and big data and principal investigator for Neocortex. “Our team is eager and prepared to provide cutting-edge computing technologies and specialized expertise, supporting researchers as they explore the frontiers of both fundamental and applied AI research. We believe in the program’s potential to shape the AI landscape and look forward to playing a key role in its success.”

NAIRR will eventually aim to spur innovation in the development of AI tools, increase the diversity of the AI workforce and improve the nation’s capacity for AI research and development. The NSF plans to achieve this by providing scientists across the U.S. wide access to secure high-performance, privacy-preserving computing, high-quality datasets, catalogs of testbeds and educational materials, training tools and user support mechanisms.

Neocortex is among six AI computing resources selected for the pilot launch, including Delta AI from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and Frontera and Lonestar6 from the Texas Advanced Computing Center.

About PSC

The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is a joint computational research center with Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. PSC provides university, government and industrial researchers with access to several of the most powerful systems for high-performance computing, communications and data storage available to scientists and engineers nationwide for unclassified research. PSC advances the state of the art in high-performance computing, communications and data analytics and offers a flexible environment for solving the largest and most challenging problems in research.