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Sunday, May 07, 2017

AI everywhere | TechCrunch

Photo: Darrell Etherington
"Nvidia’s Jensen Huang is one of those rare CEOs who has, for a remarkably long and storied period, been at the helm of a company he helped create." according to Darrell Etherington, writer at TechCrunch 
Photo:  Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In 1993, at the age of 30, he co-founded Nvidia and has occupied the top executive spot ever since. What began as a provider of relatively niche graphics processing units (GPUs) with a narrow field of general computing uses has evolved to become, arguably, the bedrock underlying the current AI market explosion.

As Nvidia gears up for its eighth annual GPU Technology Conference (GTC), which happens May 8-11 in San Jose, the company has a lot to celebrate. Its stock price hit record highs this year, its tech was everywhere at CES, and in addition to general AI applications, it’s found a new collection of deep-pocketed partners among automakers looking to usher in autonomous driving using neural networks powered by GPUs.

I spoke to Huang about how the company got to where it is today, as well as what GTC has become in the general landscape and what it means to Nvidia. Huang also shared some thoughts about the potential unlocked by GPUs in terms of future tech we might more commonly think of as belonging firmly to the realm of science fiction.

I asked Huang to compare the GTC of eight years ago to the GTC of today, given how much of Nvidia’s focus has changed.

“We invented a computing model called GPU accelerated computing and we introduced it almost slightly over 10 years ago,” Huang said, noting that while AI is only recently dominating tech news headlines, the company was working on the foundation long before that. “And so we started evangelizing all over the world. GTC is our developers conference for that. The first year, with just a few hundred people, we were mostly focused in two areas: They were focused in computer graphics, of course, and physics simulation, whether it’s finite element analysis or fluid simulations or molecular dynamics. It’s basically Newtonian physics.”

Source: TechCrunch