OpenAI & Microsoft plan the world’s largest supercomputer, a $100bn “Stargate” project, possibly powered by nuclear plants

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Creating superintelligence requires a few simple ingredients: a near-infinite trove of data, an army of tech experts, billions of dollars worth of advanced microchips – and a gigantic amount of electricity.

As Silicon Valley spends enormous sums in a race to build artificial intelligence, tech giants are hitting a bottleneck. Without an abundant supply of energy, they will be unable to build the colossal supercomputing hubs they believe will host the next generation of AI systems.

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Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s chief executive, has assembled what is believed to be the world’s biggest arsenal of Nvidia’s latest AI chips. He told a podcast last month that ultimately using them all in one place could require a gigawatt of power, potentially requiring a dedicated nuclear supply. “A gigawatt [data centre] would be the size of a meaningful nuclear power plant,” he said.

Zuckerberg’s comparison is not simply flippant. The desperate race for energy is triggering a wave of interest in nuclear power among the world’s tech barons. Venture capitalists are becoming nuclear boosters, betting that it will be the power source to keep the AI boom running.

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