Nvidia’s Corp will be running its GPU Technology Conference, known more commonly as GTC, virtually from November 8-11, 2021. In my view, GTC is the single best resource to learn about all aspects of artificial intelligence and machine learning. NVIDIA arguably does this better than any other technology company.
I attend many events every year, but GTC has become one of my favorites because it’s an excellent mix of vision that might seem like science fiction, but also practical use cases of how AI and ML are changing the world.
AI is infused into our lives
In fact, in this promo video for spring GTC 2021, I think the company did a nice job of highlighting how AI is being used right now. The voice over, “I am AI,” talks about how AI is now a creator that can blend art and technology, how it’s a healer and how it can make the seemingly impossible, possible in the field of healthcare. The video also talks about AI being a pioneer, explore, guardian and much more.
The highlight of the event is the keynote by NVIDIA CEO, Jensen Huang. In past keynotes, he’s brought AI to life by presenting how it has now been infused in every part of our lives and how it’s allowed us as a society to push the boundaries of research.
For the propellor heads, Huang’s session is usually filled with the latest and greatest product innovation in the areas of silicon, systems, graphics, robotics, autonomous vehicles and more and I expect this year will be no different.
AI can solve some of the world’s unsolvable problems
This upcoming GTC is of particular importance as AI can positively impact us all and solve some of the world’s biggest challenges. The planet sits on the precipice of a crisis and almost every business leader, politician, celebrity, and influencer talk about the importance of taking action now.
The problem is, it’s not that easy to know what to do and whether progress is being made. There is so much data to analyze that it’s impractical for humans to understand what it means, but an AI can. So as company leaders set out to plan their net-zero and ESG strategies, they’ll rely on machine learning based analytics to help them make the best decision.
From a more tactical perspective, AI systems can be used to make our day to day lives better. For example, almost every organization I talk to is planning to move to a hybrid work model. While that’s easy to say, how does that happen?
In the past, remote participants always felt like second class citizens when collaborating with co-workers and now we’re putting in policies that let everyone be remote when they want to be.
Effective hybrid work is enabled by AI
AI is the great workplace equalizer and lets us do things that improve hybrid working. For example, NVIDIA’s Maxine allows people to block background noise when participating in remote meetings. That means a person can be on a video and have dogs barking, mowers cutting grass and cars honking and it won’t disrupt the meeting.
Also, facial recognition allows us to know more about who we are talking to without having to ask. Maxine can even make it look like we are looking at the camera when we are not allowing us to maintain eye contact instead of having to choose between looking at the camera or the person.
AI will also be used in the workplace to make the environment safer. Automated systems can now check people’s temperatures, monitor environmental settings to ensure people are following safety protocols and make devices completely touchless though the use of speech to stop the spread of germs. I’ve talked to some companies that are looking at using AI powered sanitizing robots that can clean the workplace after hours.
All industries will be impacted by AI
Other interesting use cases I’m looking for are:
- How AI is changing healthcare to be more predictive rather than reactive. There is plenty of data available, the dots need to be connected to help find life threatening conditions faster.
- AI based customer service where chat bots and virtual agents become smarter and enable consumers to solve issues without having to talk to people.
- The impact AI can have on cyber security. There has been a sharp rise in phishing and ransomware since the pandemic began and companies are paying out billions of dollars. AI can protect us and minimize the impact of a breach.
- What is the status of autonomous vehicles? COVID-19 ushered in the area of touchless interactions and these types of cars can be used to make deliveries quickly and safely.
- How the world of entertainment changes as virtual and physical experiences is being blended together. As an example, I recently had a discussion with Major League Baseball about using AI to gather in game stats such as spin rate, exit velocity and other metrics that entertain fans.
GTC has always had strong appeal to a technical audience, but NVIDIA has broadened the scope of the event to educate a broader audience as the impact of AI and machine learning affects everyone – from the most technical programmer to C-Level executives.
The event has a wide range of sessions from ones that are super technical to other that are more “101” sessions as well as industry focused presentations and meant to educated and provide vision. I’ll be attending virtually, hope to “see” you there.