AI gold rush continues as Aleph Alpha scores more than half a billion dollars

HPE and Lidl co-owners among consortium funding 'sovereign' Generative AI company

There's money to be made in AI, and HPE's venture capital arm, Hewlett Packard Pathfinder, has joined a consortium investing more than half a billion US dollars in German Generative AI company, Aleph Alpha.

The oversubscribed investment round also included contributions from SAP and Bosch Ventures. Schwarz Group, a co-owner of Lidl, was also involved in the investment in the Heidelberg-based AI biz.

Aleph Alpha is focused on the more nebulous areas of AI including sovereignty and trust, factors that are increasingly important to European governments worried about where the citizen data goes once ingested into the AI behemoth. According to the company: "The significant enhancement of the capabilities of Large Language Models by a European company gives government agencies as well as companies the opportunity to build and apply AI in a sovereign environment."

This investment also secures Germany's place as a base for trustworthy and sovereign AI, according to Aleph Alpha.

Dr Tanja Rückert, member of the Board of Management and Chief Digital Officer of Robert Bosch GmbH, said: "Actively developing Generative AI will be crucial for Europe's technological sovereignty."

The investment comes mere days after the UK hosted the AI Safety Summit in an effort to demonstrate Britain's importance in the field.

As for the technology itself, Aleph Alpha has said that it "remains committed to reproducibility, excellence, and sharing innovation through open source." However, it also said it intends to use the commitment to further advance its proprietary AI research.

Aleph Alpha was founded in 2019 and, according to the company, runs the fastest European commercial AI cluster. Aleph Alpha reckons its generative AI offerings are the prime choice for some enterprises and governments seeking to keep data secure and maintain trust.

HPE pointed out that Aleph Alpha's Luminous AI language model is trained on an HPE supercomputer, using the HPE Machine Learning Development Environment. HPE reckoned the investment would serve to strengthen the ties between the two companies.

Despite the presence of investors such as HPE, Aleph Alpha was at pains to insist it will remain independent and flexible in terms of infrastructure, cloud compatibility, and on-premises support. Hybrid setups are also an option. ®

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