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FIU Business panel showcases an innovative entrepreneurial solution to big energy demands.

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The intersection of artificial intelligence and high-performance computing (HPC) can help address the challenges now facing intensive computing, which requires significant amounts of processing power, in an environmentally friendly and hyper-efficient manner.

The FIU Business Master of Science in Finance program brought together two experts to discuss the topic with students in a panel session on February 16, 2022. Assistant Professor of Finance Florent Rouxeli spoke with Frédéric Juillard and Berat Denizdurduran, top managers of DeepSquare Project, a community-owned initiative in Switzerland focused on providing sustainable HPC services to businesses.

Juillard co-founded Alpine Tech, the first Swiss crypto-mining company, in 2017. He recalled how the data centers for those first mining efforts were set up in small towns in the Swiss Alps, with cheap electricity, cold weather and snow that controlled the heat generated by the constantly running computers.

“If you want to mine, you will need to have access to very cheap electricity,” said Juillard, head of sustainability at DeepSquare. “Today, the energy demands are lower when you have hyper efficient clusters of renewable power and cooling technology plus heat recapture.”

That is where DeepSquare comes in, noted Denizdurduran, its head of technology.

Incorporating some of the technologies used in supercomputers can help solve problems generated by large-scale data centers, many filled with servers that don’t deliver information, consistently increase energy consumption and carbon emissions. As a result, the impact on climate and the environment is considerable.

“We can define global goals and determine algorithms to address them,” said Denizdurduran. “To create social and environmentally driven projects to improve the efficiency of the computing industry.”

As part of the project’s funding, managers created the DeepSquare token, a cryptocurrency. Stakeholders are rewarded for their investment through voting rights in DeepSquare’s operation.

The FIU Business online MSF program, introduced in 2020, added an innovation track that focuses on the application of artificial intelligence, cryptocurrency and blockchain.