back to article UK govt finds £225M for Isambard-AI supercomputer powered by Nvidia

The UK government says it will cough up £225 million ($273 million) for a supercomputer capable of more than 200 petaFLOPS of double-precision performance, with the University of Bristol to house the machine and Nvidia providing the core computing components. Detailed during UK's AI Safety Summit Wednesday, the machine – …

  1. Snowy Silver badge
    Joke

    Call it the HS2

    Half the speeds and 4 times the price!

    1. NeilPost

      Re: Call it the HS2

      Perhaps it will be tasked looking for Brexit benefits ?

  2. zerotonin
    Trollface

    Rankings

    30th... Do you guys over there not need supercomputers or do you just keep your proper ones under wraps? ;)

    One has to wonder if the top500 is a d*** measuring contest between the US, China and Japan

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Rankings

      But these supercomputers would be used by scientists ( who are Godless Heathen Commies) to try and invent Vaccines or to suggest the Earth isn't at the center of the universe and is >4000years old.

      That's why China (also Godless Heathen Commies) are building them,

      Gentlemen we MUST let a supercomputer gap develop !

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You can't fight in here, this is a Moore room

        Haha, wait... /must/ let a gap develop?

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: You can't fight in here, this is a Moore room

          GHC scientists => Supercomputers

          ∴ Supercomputers => GHC scientists

          Since we want to have fewer GHC scientists than China we must have fewer Supercomputers

  3. Old Used Programmer

    A bridge how far...?

    I presume these various systems are named after Isambard Kingdom Brunnel.

    1. diodesign Silver badge

      Keep it civil

      Ah yup, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the civil engineer

    2. Howard Sway Silver badge

      Re: A bridge how far...?

      No, it's because it's a version of the Bard chat bot that instead of SSDs uses ISAM to access data stored on a load of old tape drives using a knackered old mainframe they found somewhere in the basement of a government department.

      To be honest it's an improvement on the UK Metaverse they were planning that ditched 3D headsets for ascii-art printouts on a bunch of old line printers.

  4. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Lucky they built it in Bristol then, otherwise it would be confusing

    1. navidier
      Facepalm

      Lucky they built it in Bristol then, otherwise it would be confusing

      Why did we rename Brunel University to Brunel University London? Because people kept assuming we were in Bristol, not Uxbridge! (Apart from those few who thought we were in Borneo...)

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Lucky they built it in Bristol then, otherwise it would be confusing

        Because people kept assuming we were in Bristol, not Uxbridge!

        Surprised they didn't rename it Brunel Uxbridge University in the hope of getting a few international students who didn't read closely

      2. Jan 0 Silver badge

        Re: Lucky they built it in Bristol then, otherwise it would be confusing

        Keeping the original name:Brunel C.A.T. would have been even wiser!

        """Dabsy might approve"""

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So many FLOPS

    Should have named it the “BREXITRON”

    1. andy gibson

      Re: So many FLOPS

      "can we co-exist and trade and travel seamlessly with Europe?"

      ERROR - COMPUTER SAYS NO

  6. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Computer say

    You can picture the scene.

    Scientists have uploaded all the UK laws, policies, economic and other data, projections and things government have in the pipeline.

    Cabinet gather around the desk and scientist says:

    - What should I ask the computer?

    - (PM) What do we need to do to win elections?

    *fans whirring*

    - (computer says) You won't win elections and call them now you pathetic losers.

    *huffing and puffing*

    - (Chancellor) Hey, Mr Scientist, Can you try to turn it off and on again?

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Computer say

      You'd almost think people had forgotten The Forbin Project...

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Computer say

        Dwar Ev threw the switch. There was a mighty hum, the surge of power from ninety-six billion planets. Lights flashed and quieted along the miles-long panel.

        Dwar Ev stepped back and drew a deep breath. “The honor of asking the first question is yours, Dwar Reyn.”

        “Thank you,” said Dwar Reyn. “It shall be a question that no single cybernetics machine has been able to answer.”

        He turned to face the machine. “Is there a plan to win the next election?”

        The mighty voice answered without hesitation, without the clicking of single relay.

        KERNEL PANIC

        Sudden fear flashed on the face of Dwar Ev. He leaped to grab the switch.

        (Answer by Fredric Brown, 1954)

  7. werdsmith Silver badge

    If it happens then congratulations to Bristol.

    1. Lurko

      Let's hope it doesn't go ahead.

      All very well government spaffing quarter of a billion quid to sound big in the global supercomputing stakes in the same week Little Rishi spouts off about AI, but unfortunately it continues the problem of spending what government (and thus we) don't have. I saw a beautiful quote recently that I can't trace the source of now, but was something around "the problem with Britain is the government spend like Norway but tax like Moldova". That's further exacerbated by the fact that government spend too much on follies and current account spending, thus persistently under-investing and indeed reducing the capex in the facilities for services, which has been the case under both the current clowns, but also under the preceding Labour government.

  8. s. pam Silver badge
    FAIL

    More ££s wasted instead of…

    Hiring more doctors and nurses, or giving them pay rises, or….

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: More ££s wasted instead of…

      Yeah, while we're at it, can we not build ANY infrastructure as it's a waste of money (HS2 exempt), and don't bother with Libraries, leisure centres, parks, cleaning, building main.

      All a waste of money.

      Give it to a hard done by consultant, as he has to work almost a 3 day we week, and those nurse that spend all day on the computer doing fuck all.

      You want money for the NHS? Reduce waste, sack the lazy and useless ones (there are a LOT in the NHS), reduce bureaucracy, get rid of much of the management and get value for money.

      The NHS isn't underfunded, it's badly run.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: More ££s wasted instead of…

        "You want money for the NHS? Reduce waste, sack the lazy and useless ones (there are a LOT in the NHS), reduce bureaucracy, get rid of much of the management and get value for money."

        Well, according to the internationally recognised and respected King's Fund, the problem with NHS management is not that there's too many of them, but that there's far too few of them. Feel free to get alternative facts from the well qualified experts who write the comment columns of the Daily Mail, or the experienced professionals who contribute to that august publication's reader comments.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: More ££s wasted instead of…

          From university experience you can always appear to save money by reducing admin staff.

          You just end up with professors doing a lot of general office paperwork

          And postdocs spending a lot of time trying to learn how to sort out complex customs documentation for an imported part, cos there are no experienced office staff.

          And people waiting around for weeks to get a part ordered because ordering is now outsourced to 8 layers of service provider

          And expensive bits of kit standing idle because you got rid of the techs and so a PhD student from years ago who used 50% of it explained that to a student that used 50% of that function and explained to a student ....

          But on paper we have cut the wasted admin "overhead" - while somehow paying $/£/€ to management consultants to say how efficient this is

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Computer could answer the eternal question

    “Why do working Britains vote Tory?”

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