AI Nation Actually Happening? Floating Data Center Could Be First Artificial Intelligence Country

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

AI has been a major game-changer in a number of industries, and many advocates have encouraged government regulation to help curtail the Terminator-like future we might have if AI runs fully amok.

However, there has been widespread concern that legislators may not be able to pass laws fast enough to keep Skynet at bay, and this latest development has us more worried than ever.

AI Nation On A Barge

AI Nation

According to TechRadar, the United States firm Del Complex has created an AI nation out of a “gargantuan barge containing 10,000 Nvidia H100 GPUs worth a combined $500 million.”

The term “AI Nation” might make you think this is a ship full of futuristic robots, but the truth is a bit more grounded. In practice, this is just a giant boat filled with cutting-edge computers. But the “nation” part is how Del Rey plans to avoid the potential limitations of any future AI legislation.

International Waters

AI Nation

When Del Rey announced their AI nation on X (the social media platform formerly known as Twitter), the firm specifically emphasized the ability of their barge to travel in international waters as a nation unto itself.

If you’ve watched enough Miami Vice reruns, you know that one of the primary benefits of traveling through international waters is that you may be exempt from the laws of various nations.

AI Nation Regulation

AI Nation

In the case of Del Rey, it seems the firm is specifically concerned about legislation that might originate from the United States.

While we are a long way from seeing any kind of firm AI regulation, President Joe Biden signed an executive order last week to create rules restricting the development of generative artificial intelligence.

If there is enough political momentum in the coming years (such as the momentum from voters scared of AI affecting their jobs), this could lead to much firmer regulations against AI.

In Del Rey’s case, the firm hopes to develop its own AI nation ahead of time and locate it in international waters to avoid these restrictions.

Sovereign Nation-State

Del Ray claims that this BlueSea Frontier Compute Cluster (BSFCC) and future barges will operate “as its own sovereign nation-state deep in international waters, free from the constraints of regulatory bodies.”

The firm is similarly confident that this AI nation status will be confirmed by both the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea as well as the Montevideo Convention.

Residents Living In AI Nation?

That may sound crazy on paper, but each BSFCC could theoretically meet many of the requirements of a sovereign state, including having residents (in the form of staff and security), a “defined territory,” a working government, and even the capability “to enter into relations with other states.”

As we have noted, Del Rey seems supremely confident in their ability to create a series of AI nations throughout international waters, but only time will tell if the statehood they are seeking will be officially conferred.

Artificial Intelligence Here To Stay

In the meantime, the fact that the company is trying such a bold move cements something we already knew: AI is here to stay, and it won’t be easy to keep individuals and corporations from pushing this technology to the limit.

Here’s hoping that the first Terminator that ends up stalking humanity doesn’t roll off the assembly line of a floating AI nation hidden somewhere deep inside international water.