Second-Generation Tensor Processing Units (TPUs) Announced at 2017 Google I/O
Google as a company is constantly launching new technologies with the potential to radically change entire industries and alter the course of human civilization, with some of the best press announcements reserved for release at the annual I/O Convention. This year, Sundar Pichai (CEO), Jeff Dean (Research), and Urs Hölzle (Google Cloud) all made simultaneously timed announcements that effectively launched an entirely new form of cloud web hosting based around machine learning and artificial intelligence. Google has developed a new type of computer server with advanced Tensor Processing Units or TPUs which function to optimize machine learning processes for AI in a manner similar to the way that GPUs operate in the advanced mathematical rendering of high-speed computer graphics or in accelerating Bitcoin mining. Google intends to make the machine learning servers available for research and development on open source standards through cloud computing plans which can be programmed with TensorFlow, "an open-source software library for Machine Intelligence." The launch of Cloud TPU hosting is one of the highlights of Google's change from a "mobile-first" to "AI-first" company and symbolic of its goal to develop "AI-first" data centers across all current business operations.