In a bid to advance its artificial intelligence (AI) ambitions, tech behemoth Microsoft is reportedly in the process of assembling a specialized team dedicated to crafting an energy strategy centered around Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) and microreactor energy.
As revealed in a job posting noted by The Verge, Microsoft is actively seeking a Principal Program Manager who will spearhead the company’s nuclear technology initiatives, aimed at bolstering AI model development.
The job description features a quote from Microsoft’s Chairman and CEO, Satya Nadella, who states, “The next major wave of computing is being born, as the Microsoft Cloud turns the world’s most advanced AI models into a new computing platform.”
The ideal candidate for this role must possess a minimum of six years of experience in the nuclear industry, engineering, or the energy market, as specified in the post. Additionally, the individual will be tasked with exploring other experimental energy technologies.
Complex machine learning models, particularly deep learning, are known for their substantial energy consumption, attributed to intricate computations and vast datasets. A study published in 2019 by the MIT Technology Review even revealed that training a single AI model can result in carbon emissions equivalent to those of five cars over their lifetimes.
Efforts to mitigate the energy consumption of AI models encompass the development of more efficient algorithms and hardware, as well as the adoption of renewable energy sources for data centers, including nuclear power.
According to the U.S. Office of Nuclear Energy, nuclear power boasts the distinct advantage of producing zero carbon emissions and refraining from emitting other greenhouse gases. Nevertheless, researchers at Stanford University contend that nuclear energy is not a panacea for environmental concerns, highlighting its protracted timeline from planning to operation, significant carbon footprint, and risks associated with meltdowns.