May 3, 2022
Photo: Nick Otto/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Hello and welcome to Protocol Enterprise! Today: Meta’s new large language text predictor model, Western Digital to consider a flash-memory split, and AMD earnings surge.
After years of talk, new research from Celonis found that companies are taking sustainability improvements seriously. According to survey results, 87% of companies are automating their supply chains to improve sustainability and 51% are willing to live with lower margins to achieve those goals.
Meta finally revealed an algorithm — just not one it uses to power Facebook or Instagram.
Word got out Monday among computer scientists that Meta planned to reveal a new large language model rivaling OpenAI’s GPT-3, the open-source technology that has formed the foundation of chatbots, automated customer service tools and more. “Come on come on open the repo already,” wrote one ML engineer on Twitter, referring to the GitHub repository of code, data and documentation associated with the new model.
On Tuesday Meta did unveil the codebase, development process logbook, data, research paper and other information associated with Open Pretrained Transformer, or OPT-175B, its new 175-billion-parameter open-source large language model.
As of this morning, a Facebook Research repository on GitHub was available to developers, loaded with code files and other documentation.
Training large language models requires massive amounts of compute, sucking up huge amounts of energy. Meta addressed the climate impact downsides of natural language processing AI.
But there’s an elephant in the room as big as a data-hungry large language model, despite Meta’s transparency charm offensive.
While Facebook critics and lawmakers demanding more transparency from Meta may not see Tuesday’s language model reveal as true openness, computer scientists had a different perspective.
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Spinning hard drives and flash storage chips are technologies that have little, if anything, to do with one another — beyond that they both help servers store bits. Still, Western Digital makes flash and hard disks under one roof, and a letter sent to the company Tuesday by Elliott Investment Management may change that.
The activist investor has asked the board to break the business into its constituent parts, a move that would effectively unwind the SanDisk acquisition WD made to get into the flash business in the first place.
The reasoning goes something like this: The promise of the SanDisk deal has not borne significant fruit. There are no benefits to attempting to operate two units that have very little to do with one another, in terms of tech but also when selling both products to potential customers. The flash and hard disk businesses would benefit from being standalone companies, Elliot said.
Western Digital said that it will carefully consider Elliott’s plan.
AMD’s first-quarter earnings came in well above Wall Street estimates, thanks to a rebound in the PC market and the gains it continues to make against Intel in the data center.
SAP hired a banking adviser in hopes of selling its Litmos learning software division for as much as $1 billion, according to Reuters.Intel acquired Siru, a graphics chip design company that could help it build “emerging accelerated compute solutions, in the areas of blockchain, metaverse, high performance edge compute and hyperscale,” which, sure.
Thanks for reading — see you tomorrow!