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IBM PowerAI upgrade brings new tools to deep learning

New tools in IBM's Power AI aim to greatly improve the development cycle and reduce training time in the field of deep learning.

By Joe Clark

IBM has announced a significant new release of its PowerAI deep learning software on Power Systems.

IBM says that this new upgrade will greatly enhance the work of  data scientists and developers by reducing the complexity of tools and data preparation, whilst simultaneously reducing the amount of time required for training.

The reason for the upgrade is that newer areas of development such as self driving cars and real time fraud detection require a much greater amount of computing power, and can currently overwhelm x86 systems with ease.

PowerAIBob Picciano, Senior Vice President, IBM Cognitive Systems, said: “Data scientists and an emerging community of cognitive developers will lead much of the innovation in the cognitive era. Our objective with PowerAI is to make their journey to AI as easy, intuitive and productive as possible.”

“Power AI reduces the frustration of waiting and increases productivity.  Power Systems were designed for data and this next era of computing, in great contrast to x86 servers which were designed for the client/server programmable era of the past.”

This new version of PowerAI contains for significant new features including a new tool called AI vision which allows developers with limited deep learning knowledge to deploy simple deep learning models for computer vision, and integration with IBM Spectrum Conductor and Apache Spark to enhance data preparation.

The upgrade also includes a decreased training time via a distributed computing version of Tensorflow and an easier development cycle through the use of new tool DL Insight which increases the accuracy of data measured.

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PowerAI customer Ari Juntunen, CTO at Elinar Oy Ltd, said: “IBM PowerAI on Power servers with GPU accelerators provide at least twice the performance of our x86 platform; everything is faster and easier: adding memory, setting up new servers and so on.”

“As a result, we can get new solutions to market quickly, protecting our edge over the competition. We think that the combination of IBM Power and PowerAI is the best platform for AI developers in the market today. For AI, speed is everything —nothing else comes close in our opinion.”

Power AI is available for the enterprise as a single download.

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