NVIDIA: Envisioning A.I

Visiting from his home in Taiwan, Jensen Huang’s father loved America so much that he sent his children to be educated in the US. Seizing the opportunities America offers immigrants, Jensen founded NVIDIA. Now the multibillion-dollar company leads the world in the artificial intelligence technology that is transforming our lives.



Who is Jensen Huang?

Born in Taiwan as Jen-Hsun, he spent his early childhood in Thailand. He Anglicized his name to Jensen when his father sent him to America to be educated. It didn’t start well. Jenson was enrolled at what his family thought was a prestigious boarding school. It wasn’t: It was a school for troubled youth. Despite that Jensen thrived. Like millions of immigrants to the US, he supported himself by washing dishes in a fast-food outfit while he studied electrical engineering. In 1993, in a branch of Denny’s, he and a couple of colleagues sketched the idea for NVIDIA on a paper napkin. They founded a company that would transform not only theirs but billions of lives across the planet.
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What created NVIDIA’s success?

As “NV” for “new version,” the group began by making graphic-processing units (GPUs) for video gamers. When they incorporated, they had to find a name with “NV” in it so chose the Latin word for envy – nvidia. Perhaps a random choice but a sentiment that may be reflected by those viewing the company’s astronomical share price which has risen 100,670.73% and its capitalization of $2.07 trillion. By 2006 Huang was promoting NVIDIA’s products to the supercomputing community. The invention of Bitcoin in 2009 gave the company a boost as its products were in huge demand for cryptocurrency mining. Then, in 2013, betting against the sector’s previous sluggish takeoff, Huang bet Nvidia’s future on artificial intelligence




“Deep learning is not an algorithm. Deep learning is a method. All it’s doing is processing data”

What is artificial intelligence according to Huang?

The hype surrounding artificial intelligence overplays its potential to the extent that machine learning is the accretion of information, not a decision-making process. Huang says, “Deep learning is not an algorithm. Deep learning is a method. All it’s doing is processing data.” He adds, “There are so many other things to worry about.” With that, he dismisses the fear AI will replace humans. He was almost alone among technology billionaires by not signing a letter warning that AI posed a risk, including human annihilation. While other billionaires are creating “lifeboats” to take humanity to other planets, Huang has modeled Nvidia’s Santa Clara headquarters on Star Trek’s Voyager spacecraft. Its 100,000 square meter (1.2 million square feet) is devoted to Huang’s vision of designing terrestrial space to enhance employees’ performance.