Nvidia Corp chief executive officer Jensen Huang (黃仁勳) said yesterday that every country needs to have its own artificial intelligence (AI) infrastructure to take advantage of the economic potential while protecting its own culture.
“You cannot allow that to be done by other people,” Huang said at the World Government Summit in Dubai.
Huang, whose firm has catapulted to a US$1.73 trillion stock market value due to its dominance of the market for high-end AI chips, said his company is “democratizing” access to AI due to swift efficiency gains in AI computing.
“The rest of it is really up to you to take initiative, activate your industry, build the infrastructure, as fast as you can,” he said.
He said that fears about the dangers of AI are overblown, adding that other new technologies and industries such as cars and aviation have been successfully regulated.
“There are some interests to scare people about this new technology, to mystify this technology, to encourage other people to not do anything about that technology and rely on them to do it. And I think that’s a mistake,” Huang said.
Huang anticipates advances in computing over the next few years will keep the cost of developing AI well below the US$7 trillion that Sam Altman is said to be fundraising.
“You can’t assume just that you will buy more computers. You have to also assume that the computers are going to become faster and therefore the total amount that you need is not as much,” Huang told the summit.
The 60-year-old’s company makes the most sought-after AI accelerators and he’s confident the chip industry will drive down the cost of AI, as those parts are made “faster and faster and faster.”
Huang was responding to a report in the Wall Street Journal that OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is seeking to raise US$7 trillion from investors in the Middle East, including the United Arab Emirates, for a semiconductor initiative to power AI projects that would rival Nvidia.
Altman and other AI developers are seeking ways to diversify their hardware options, including by exploring chipmaking ventures of their own. For Altman to have a realistic chance of making a dent in their lead, he would need to spend lavishly on research, development, facilities and expert personnel, but Huang’s view would suggest that better, more cost-efficient chips will make that unnecessary.
Still, the Nvidia CEO doesn’t see an end to the increase in AI spending anytime soon. In his remarks, Huang estimated that the global cost of data centers powering AI will double in the next five years.
“We’re at the beginning of this new era. There’s about a trillion dollars’ worth of installed base of data centers. Over the course of the next four or five years, we’ll have US$2 trillion worth of data centers that will be powering software around the world,” he said.
Separately, Australia is lagging international peers on the adoption of AI and other advanced technologies, according to the Productivity Commission.
We are “pretty much toward the bottom of the pack of OECD nations,” Danielle Wood, chair of the commission, said at the AFR Workforce Summit yesterday, referring to Australia’s rich-world counterparts in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
“So there is a really important question, not just how does the government get the policy settings right and there’s a huge amount to be done there, but how do we shift closer to that frontier when it comes to technological adoption?” Wood said.
A government report last year predicted that Australia’s productivity growth would be 1.2 percent annually in the long term, down from 1.5 percent in the same report two years earlier. The 0.3 percentage point drop in productivity would cut estimated real GDP over the next 40 years by almost 10 percent.
Wood said she was optimistic about the overall impact on productivity from AI adoption in fields such as healthcare, education and retail and “less concerned about some of the negative workforce fallouts.”
“On the jobs piece, we have been through these kind of waves of technological changes before,” Wood said. “It may be that this time is different to history, but certainly what history, at least to date has shown is every time we get one of these waves of change, net job creation is greater than job destruction.”
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing’s (TSMC, 台積電) first wafer fab in Kumamoto, Japan is still set to launch commercial production in the fourth quarter of this year as planned, the world’s largest contract chipmaker said on Saturday in response to reports that mass production might begin ahead of schedule. TSMC said the monthly production capacity of the joint venture fab, Japan Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing (JASM), is expected to hit 55,000 units of 12-inch wafers, using the mature 12-nanometer, 16-nanometer, 22-nanometer and 28-nanometer processes. JASM is owned by TSMC and its Japanese business partners Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corp and Denso Corp, with the Taiwanese company
US President Joe Biden’s administration is in talks to confer more than US$10 billion in subsidies to Intel Corp, people familiar with the matter said, in what would be the largest award yet under a plan to bring semiconductor manufacturing back to US soil. Intel’s award package is expected to include both loans and direct grants, the source said. They stressed that negotiations are still under way. The US Department of Commerce and Intel declined to comment. The incentives would come from the 2022 Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Act, which set aside US$39 billion in direct grants as
A new artificial intelligence (AI) tool that promises to create short videos from simple text commands has raised concerns along with questions from artists and media professionals. OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT and image generator DALL-E, on Thursday said it was testing a text-to-video model called “Sora” that can allow users to create realistic videos with simple prompts. The San Francisco-based start-up said that Sora can “generate complex scenes with multiple characters, specific types of motion, and accurate details of the subject and background,” but added that it still has limitations, such as possibly “mixing up left and right.” Examples of Sora-created clips
Super Micro Computer Inc’s lengthy rally came to a shuddering halt on Friday, with a selloff that derailed what had looked to be the server maker’s best week on record. Shares fell 20 percent, their biggest one-day percentage drop since August last year. The decline comes in the wake of a nine-session run of gains, the longest such streak for the stock since 2016. However, even with the day’s selloff, the stock rose 8.5 percent for the week. Despite Friday’s drop, recent gains show how Super Micro has become one of the hottest names in artificial intelligence (AI). The stock has risen