The Man Selling Shovels in the Machine-Learning Gold Rush

The Man Selling Shovels in the Machine-Learning Gold Rush Nvidia’s CEO says his hardware will revolutionize robotics and that his chips can learn from Google’s AlphaGo. Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO of the chipmaker Nvidia, is either very prescient or very lucky. His company was built around graphics processing units (GPUs) for video games. But those same chips are now widely used in artificial-intelligence projects such as efforts to build self-driving cars. Nvidia’s chips turned out to be especially efficient for training the neural networks used in a technique called deep learning that has recently made software much smarter and caused tech giants and investors to pile money into machine-learning research. This week the company announced a new chip designed specifically for the task (see “A $2 Billion Chip to Accelerate Artificial…


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