Microsoft and TikTok parent company ByteDance engineers announced their joint AI-Project KubeRay at San Francisco’s Ray Summit. This collaboration took place amid rising AI rivalry between the US and China.
Microsoft and China’s ByteDance (TikTok parent company) engineers are working jointly on an AI software, KubeRay, helping the companies run their AI apps more efficiently. ByteDance and Microsoft software engineers Jiaxin Shan principal and Ali Kanso discussed at San Francisco’s Ray Summit this week about their progress with machine learning experts, data scientists, and other developers who use open-source software called Ray to build large applications.
Domestic lawmakers are highly concerned over America’s national security, economy and prosperity amid high-stakes US-China rivalry for artificial intelligence supremacy. Some AI experts mention that cross-border cooperation between AI-rival countries US and China, can help them benefit from advanced computing technology.
While explaining KubeRay’s technical details, Shan and Kanso described the software as helpful in powering AI apps running on distributed computing or multiple computers. Kanso, a Ph.D. in computer science, said, “Jiaxin and I have been working for like a year on an open source project and this is the beauty of a community gathering like this. We’re not in the same company, but we meet every week, we collaborate every week.” Shan’s LinkedIn profile shows that the yesteryear software engineer for Amazon Web Services lives near Microsoft’s headquarters in Seattle.
Open source projects like these are popular worldwide and have helped start various startups, where tech companies contribute by sharing their engineering resources. Following its competitors like Amazon, Google parent Alphabet, Apple, and Facebook parent Meta, Microsoft is largely investing in AI, including an AI research lab in China, to learn the country’s academic talent.
As TikTok’s popularity increased, ByteDance took interest in various open-source AI projects. For example, ByteDance introduced its first NeurST software tool kit for AI-powered speech translation in 2020 and debuted its CloudWeGo open-source enterprise software last year.
Software startup Anyscale, whose technology is built on Ray, also contributed to KubeRay and organized the Ray Summit. a group of engineers that included Ion Stoica, a computer science professor at the University of California at Berkeley.
A group of engineers, including a computer science professor at Berkeley’s University of California, Ion Stoica, co-founded Anyscale in 2019. A previous open source software developer, Stoica, also co-founded Databricks last year, a data analytics company with a financing round value of $38 billion. Databricks was built on Apache Spark, developed under Stoica’s direction, at Berkeley. Following a similar path, Anyscale announced a $99 million new investment.
Previously, Microsoft had tried to acquire TikTok from ByteDance, when then-President Donald Trump threatened to ban the TikTok app over unstated security reasons. The following year, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella described the messed-up deal as “the strangest thing” he’s ever worked on.