Project Using Big Clusters or Supercomputers

High-Performance Computing (HPC) in Data Science nowadays (Part 5)

Altimetrik Poland Tech Blog
10 min readMar 13, 2023

Series index:

  1. What is Data Science nowadays?
  2. Why should we think about hardware in Data Science?
  3. What are the elements of High Performance Computing (HPC) nowadays?
  4. Where is the synergy between HPC and Data Science?
  5. Project using big clusters or supercomputers


The field of AI has grown rapidly in recent years, with applications ranging from natural language processing and computer vision to robotics and autonomous vehicles. However, the development and training of advanced AI models requires vast amounts of data and computing resources. This is where supercomputers come to the aid of AI, which offer the ability to process and analyze huge amounts of data in a fraction of the time it would take traditional computing systems.

AI researchers and developers are constantly pushing the limits of supercomputers’ capabilities. They are using these powerful machines to solve the most complex problems in fields such as healthcare, climate modeling and materials science. With the ability to quickly analyze massive amounts of data, supercomputers are helping researchers identify patterns and insights that would be impossible to detect using traditional computational methods.

Some of the most exciting AI projects using supercomputers include the development of advanced neural networks for image recognition and natural language processing, the use of machine learning to analyze large medical data sets, and the simulation of complex physical systems such as the Earth’s climate. These projects are just a small sample of the many ways supercomputers are being used to advance the field of AI.

In this article, we will delve into some of the most fascinating AI projects that use the power of supercomputers. We will learn about the unique challenges these projects face, the innovative solutions they are developing, and the impact they are having on various industries and sectors. By the end of this article, readers will have a better understanding of the exciting opportunities that arise from the combination of AI and supercomputers.

Google Alpha Zero Project


The Alpha Zero project is a breakthrough in artificial intelligence (AI) that has attracted worldwide attention. It is a deep learning algorithm that can learn from the basics of games such as chess, Go and Shogi without any prior knowledge or human intervention. The project is a collaboration between Google’s DeepMind and AlphaGo teams and represents a significant milestone in AI technology.

The Alpha Zero project is based on the idea of reinforcement learning, a type of machine learning that trains algorithms through trial and error. Unlike traditional machine learning, which relies on human intervention to create training data, Alpha Zero learns by playing against itself. The algorithm starts with zero knowledge of the rules of the game and plays millions of games against itself, gradually learning the best strategies.

Alpha Zero’s performance is simply incredible. In a series of experiments, the algorithm was pitted against top AI programs and human experts in games such as chess, Go and Shogi. In each of these games, Alpha Zero emerged as the clear winner, outperforming the best AI programs and even the world champions.

The success of this project has several implications for the future of AI technology. First, it demonstrates the power of deep learning algorithms to learn complex tasks without human intervention. Second, it raises questions about the role of human experts in training AI systems. If Alpha Zero can learn to play a game better than the best human players, what other tasks can it learn without human participation?

The Alpha Zero project has also opened new avenues for AI research. One of the most exciting areas of research is the development of AI systems that can learn multiple tasks simultaneously. Alpha Zero’s ability to learn games from scratch suggests that it may be possible to train a single AI system to learn multiple games without any human input. The project has cleared new paths of research and promises to drive the development of more advanced AI systems in the future.

The Alpha Zero project not only involved advanced AI algorithms, but also required state-of-the-art hardware to support its computational requirements. The system used Google’s custom-built Tensor Processing Units (TPUs), specialized computer chips designed to handle AI tasks. TPUs were essential for Alpha Zero to learn and play millions of games in a relatively short period of time. The combination of advanced AI algorithms and powerful TPUs allowed Alpha Zero to develop strategies that outperformed those of human players and even the best AI systems. The case of this project underlined the importance of hardware in the development of AI technology and spurred advances in computer hardware designed specifically for AI applications.

Google AlphaFold Project


Google’s AlphaFold project is an artificial intelligence (AI) system designed to predict the three-dimensional structures of proteins, a breakthrough that has significant implications for drug discovery, disease treatment and basic scientific research.

Proteins are are like the workhorse oxen of the human body, performing basic functions such as transporting oxygen, defending against infections and catalyzing chemical reactions. But their function depends on their three-dimensional shape, and accurately predicting that shape has been a major challenge for decades.

Developed by scientists at DeepMind, a subsidiary of Google, AlphaFold uses machine learning algorithms and vast amounts of protein data to predict the shape of a protein based solely on its amino acid sequence. The system was trained using a technique called deep neural networks, which are modeled on the structure of the human brain and can learn to recognize complex patterns in data.

In 2018, AlphaFold made headlines by winning the Critical Assessment of Structure Prediction (CASP) competition, a biennial competition that evaluates the accuracy of protein structure prediction methods. AlphaFold’s predictions were on par or better than experimental methods, marking a major breakthrough in the field.

Since then, AlphaFold has steadily improved, and in 2021 the system was used to predict the structures of almost all proteins in the human body as part of the AlphaFold Protein Structure Database, a freely available resource for researchers worldwide.

AlphaFold’s impact on the field of structural biology cannot be overstated. Accurately predicting protein structures is a key step in understanding how proteins work and developing new drugs that target them. It can also shed light on the causes of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cystic fibrosis, which are caused by protein misfolding.

Overall, the AlphaFold project represents a major step forward in our understanding of the basic elements of life and has the potential to transform medicine and biotechnology in the coming years.

In addition to advanced machine learning algorithms, AlphaFold’s success is also attributed to the hardware used to train the system. To speed up the training process, the researchers used a combination of custom-designed computer chips called tensor processing units (TPUs) and graphics processing units (GPUs). TPUs are specialized processors designed to perform matrix operations commonly used in deep learning, while GPUs are powerful processors originally designed to render complex graphics in video games. By using these specialized processors, researchers were able to train AlphaFold faster and more efficiently, ultimately leading to breakthrough results. This underscores the importance of not only software and algorithms, but also specialized hardware in the development of cutting-edge AI systems like AlphaFold.

Facebook Metaverse


Facebook Metaverse is an emerging concept that has been making waves in the technology industry lately. Essentially, Metaverse is a virtual reality (VR) space that users can access using their personal devices, such as smartphones or VR headsets. It offers a fully immersive experience, allowing users to interact with others, explore virtual environments and engage in a wide range of activities.

Facebook is investing heavily in the development of Metaverse, with the goal of creating a seamless and integrated digital world that can be accessed from anywhere, at any time. The company’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has stated that Metaverse will be “the next generation of the Internet” and described it as “a connected virtual world that spans AR and VR.”

One of Metaverse’s key benefits is that it offers a whole new way to interact with others, providing a sense of social presence that is currently impossible in traditional online environments. Users can create their own avatars, which they can customize to their liking, and use them to interact with others in real time. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities, from socializing and playing games to studying and working.

Another advantage of Metaverse is that it allows for a much greater degree of creativity and expression. Users can create their own virtual spaces, which can be as simple or as complex as they want. This can be anything from a simple room to an entire virtual city. In addition, users can create and sell their own virtual goods, allowing a new type of digital economy to emerge.

Although the Metaverse concept is still in its early stages, there is no doubt that it has the potential to revolutionize the way we interact with each other and with digital technology. However, there are also concerns around issues such as privacy, security and the potential for addiction. It will be up to companies like Facebook to address these issues and ensure that Metaverse is developed in a responsible and sustainable manner.

Overall, Facebook’s Metaverse represents a significant step forward in the evolution of digital technology, offering a new level of social interaction and creativity that was previously impossible. While there are challenges to overcome, the potential benefits of the Metaverse are clear, and it will be interesting to see how the concept develops in the coming years.

To support the massive computing power required for Facebook Metaverse, the company has developed its own hardware known as SuperCluster. This is a high-performance computing system that can handle large amounts of data and support a wide range of applications, including artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR). SuperCluster consists of thousands of servers, each with multiple CPUs and GPUs, all working together to provide users with a smooth and immersive experience. This hardware is crucial to the development of Metaverse, as it allows the creation of complex and dynamic virtual environments that can be accessed by millions of users simultaneously. In addition, SuperCluster enables Facebook to process massive amounts of user data that can be used to improve the user experience and develop new features and applications.

Tesla Autopilot


Tesla Autopilot is an advanced driving system developed by Tesla, a leading electric vehicle manufacturer. The Autopilot system is designed to enhance driver safety and provide a more comfortable driving experience. With this system, drivers can enjoy advanced features such as automatic lane change, self-parking and advanced cruise control.

The Autopilot system uses a combination of cameras, sensors and radar technology to detect the vehicle’s surroundings and provide accurate information to the car’s computer system. This system then makes the necessary adjustments to the car’s speed, steering and braking to ensure a safe and smooth ride.

One of the most impressive features of Tesla Autopilot is its ability to detect and avoid obstacles. The system is designed to detect other vehicles, pedestrians and even animals on the road. It can also recognize traffic lights, stop signs and road markings to help drivers navigate safely through intersections.

Another important feature of Tesla Autopilot is its ability to provide real-time traffic information to the driver. The system can detect traffic congestion and suggest alternative routes to avoid delays. This feature helps reduce travel time and improve the overall driving experience.

Tesla Autopilot also includes a number of safety features to protect the driver and passengers. The system has a forward-facing camera that can detect and warn the driver of potential collisions. It also has an emergency braking system that can automatically apply the brakes in the event of an impending collision.

Note, however, that Tesla Autopilot is not a fully autonomous driving system. The driver must still remain alert and ready to take control of the vehicle at any time. The system is designed to assist the driver and provide additional safety features, but it is not meant to replace the driver.

Tesla Autopilot is the future of self-driving cars. With its advanced technology and safety features, it is changing the way we think about driving. As more and more people realize the benefits of this system, we can expect to see more and more vehicles with Tesla Autopilot on the road. The future of driving is here, and it’s called Tesla Autopilot.

Tesla is currently working on a supercomputer called Dojo, which is specifically designed to support the company’s Autopilot system. Dojo will be used to process the massive amounts of data generated by the Autopilot system, allowing it to continuously learn and improve. This advanced computing system will enable Tesla to train its neural networks faster and more accurately, ensuring better performance and safety of Tesla vehicles. The Dojo supercomputer is expected to be one of the most powerful computing systems in the world, capable of processing up to one exaflop (one billion billion calculations per second) of data. With the development of Dojo, Tesla is taking the Autopilot system to the next level and moving self-driving car technology forward.


This article highlights ways in which supercomputers can be used in cutting-edge AI projects. Four specific projects are discussed: AlphaZero, a machine learning system developed by Google’s DeepMind that can play and master games such as chess, Shogi and Go; AlphaFold, another DeepMind project that uses AI to predict the 3D structure of proteins; Metaverse, a virtual world project that uses machine learning to generate 3D environments; and Tesla’s Autopilot, a self-driving car system that uses computer vision and machine learning to analyze the environment and make driving decisions. The article explains how these projects are leveraging the power of supercomputing to make significant advances in their fields, and explores the implications of these advances for the future of AI and supercomputing.

In this part of the series:

  1. We learned about several cutting-edge projects using supercomputers.
  2. We understood through examples that important research requires high computing power.
  3. We became familiar with examples of leading companies in modern AI and…
  4. We know without a doubt that AI is the future that will change our lives.

Words by Patryk Binkowski, Data Scientist

Editing by Kinga Kuśnierz, Content Writer



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