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Nvidia CEO Huang: AI is ‘the most powerful technology force the world has known’

Nvidia’s (NVDA) stock price has skyrocketed over the year-to-date, jumping 132% as of Thursday. But CEO Jensen Huang isn’t concerned about share prices overheating. Rather, he sees it as a response to people being excited about the work the chip giant is doing in artificial intelligence.

“Artificial intelligence is unquestionably the most powerful technology force the world has ever known,” Huang told Yahoo Finance Live. “We’re always seeking to improve our performance, improve our efficiency, and improve our growth opportunities. And artificial intelligence is understandably the best way for that going forward. And I think people are excited about that.”

Earlier in the week, Huang kicked off Nvidia’s GTC 2021 conference with a virtual keynote that featured discussions about the company’s efforts in AI, the metaverse, robotics, and self-driving cars.

The most valuable chipmaker in the world with a market cap of $749 billion, Nvidia has gone from functioning solely as a maker of graphics cards for gamers to an AI powerhouse thanks to the processing power of its chips.

Its gaming arm still brings in the majority of its revenue, about 47% to its data center business’s 36%, but that gap is shrinking more and more each quarter. And while the company is dead set on continuing to be the top card maker in the world, investors recognize Nvidia’s AI and data center businesses as an important and growing piece of the company’s overall strategy.

Part of Nvidia’s secret sauce is the fact that while it builds everything from chips to supercomputers, it also produces the software that its customers use to develop their own artificial intelligence capabilities. In other words, the company is a one-stop shop for its clients’ AI needs.

Nvidia showed off an AI-powered toy version of CEO Jensen Huang during its GTC 2021 conference. (Image: Nvidia)
Nvidia showed off an AI-powered toy version of CEO Jensen Huang during its GTC 2021 conference. (Image: Nvidia) (Nvidia)

“People are excited about the fact that Nvidia is not a traditional semiconductor company,” Huang said. “We’re rich with software, and we are rich with the ability to open to new markets.”

According to the CEO, the software that Nvidia makes is essential for accelerated computing, and without it, the computing model the company pioneered doesn’t work.

Nvidia’s AI efforts touch everything from its work on self-driving cars, to training robots, to language models, and its own Omniverse. The company’s metaverse platform, Omniverse is the plumbing Nvidia customers can use to build out their own virtual worlds.

Customers can use Omniverse to create so-called “digital twins” that they can work with inside of a virtual environment rather than the real world. An automaker might, for instance, use a digital twin to reconfigure one of its manufacturing plants using Omniverse. That could help it spot potential bottlenecks that it might not have noticed until it already spent millions building out the site in the real world.

Nvidia is currently using its Omniverse software to build out its self-driving car efforts by running virtual cars through digital twins of the real world. That allows the vehicles’ to collect the data the company needs to program cars in the real world, without ever having them touch pavement.

“I think people are excited about the technology that we’ve created,” Huang said. “I’m delighted that people see the potential in our company, and I’m looking forward to the future we’ve discussed.”

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