GRAPHICS OUTFIT Nvidia is doing big things in the world of artificial intelligence (AI). Just this week the firm announced Pegasus, the 'world's first' AI supercomputer designed to power future 'robotaxis', and it gave developers access to Holodeck, a virtual design lab that brings AI to a physically-simulated VR environment.
During Nvidia's GPU conference in Munich this week, INQ sat down with the company's CEO, Jensen Huang, to talk about the company's AI plans and, naturally, whether he agrees with Elon Musk's recent comments that the technology will be the most likely cause of World War 3.
"I think the open dialogue is great. There are a lot of people thinking about [AI] and thinking about how we advance the technology in good ways," Huang said.
"AI is one of the most important inventions in the history of humanity. Its potential to bring joy, productivity is surely unquestionable, but you could also imagine these powerful technologies used in improper ways
"We at Nvidia believe that the best way to keep the tech in good hands is to democratise it. That's why Nvidia's GPU technology, and CUDA, are open. It's in every single cloud, it's in every single computer and we make it available to anybody who wants to use it.
"The benefit is that there are more good-hearted people than there are less good-hearted people, and if you simply give them access, they will keep it out of harm's way. The collective good nature of humanity will keep it out of harm's way."
It's a good job, too, as Huang believes that robotaxis - fully automated vehicles aimed at the ride-haling economy - could arrive on roads within the next two years, even before Level 4 vehicles - those that require a human to be present for safety reasons - are given the green light.
"Although on one hand, the process is more complex, it's also much more simple because it's a service. You can limit the range of your service, and you can geofence it," he said.
"Yes, technology is much more complex because there's no driver in the car. Nonetheless, I believe robotaxi services will arrive in the next couple of years."
Eventually, Huang expects AI-powered self-driving vehicles to account for 100 per cent of the automotive industry.
"I believe 100 per cent, there's not a bone in my body that doesn't believe this, that 100 per cent of the $100tn dollar automotive industry will be autonomous. Everything with wheels will be autonomous."
But does that mean humans will eventually forget how to drive, and what driving was?
"I think it's a bit like horseback riding and bicycles. There are people who do it for sport. I do believe that someday cars will become the same because the need to drive goes away but the desire to drive does not."
"Our approach is going to help us become one of the key players in the automotive industry, and I think that the revolution will be gigantic." µ
It's the week in Google news
Erik Estrada wouldn't have stood for this
Hacks in support of WikiLeaks founder target gov websites