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NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang Reveals Keys to AI, Leadership

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In this Fireside chat, Jensen Wong, the Co-founder and CEO of Nvidia Corporation, shares the history of Nvidia, from its humble beginnings to revolutionizing the graphics processing unit (GPU) industry and venturing into artificial intelligence. He also discusses the company's journey, including the challenges and breakthroughs, such as the introduction of accelerated computing and the role of Nvidia GPUs in crypto mining and data center infrastructure.Jensen Huang discusses the breakthrough in computer science that enabled generative AI and large language models, the importance of AI in increasing productivity and the potential for AI to change the style of working. He also addresses the impact of geopolitical tensions on the tech industry and expresses hope for a balanced and thoughtful approach to international relations.Jensen, a CEO, discusses the importance of education and learning, the role of a CEO, and the essential qualities and skills needed for success in the business world. He emphasizes the significance of strategic thinking, action, and having a deep understanding of the company's craft. Jensen also highlights the value of learning from others and staying in school to achieve long-term success.

✨ Highlights
📊 Transcript
The video features Jensen Wong, co-founder and CEO of Nvidia Corporation, and Coce McIs, the dean of Columbia Business School, discussing the digital future initiative.
00:05
Jensen Wong and Coce McIs both graduated from Stanford in electrical engineering.
Jensen Wong revolutionized the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) industry and the artificial intelligence industry.
The conversation is part of the David and Lyn Siin Leadership Series and the Digital Future Initiative at Columbia Business School.
Nvidia was founded during the PC Revolution with the belief that general purpose computing can't solve all problems, leading to the focus on Accelerated Computing.
03:18
Nvidia was founded by Jensen Wong and Chris Curtis outside a Denny's restaurant.
They had the support of important people in the technology industry to get the funding for the company.
The idea of using GPUs for accelerated computing was based on the belief that there would be a future market for video games and 3D graphics.
Nvidia's technology challenge and market challenge led to the invention of a new technology and the creation of the company.
06:51
The company's success had approximately 0% odds due to the challenges.
The invention of the video game 3D graphics technology and the company's technology challenge were the two main factors in the company's success.
Nvidia's GPUs were used for crypto mining, leading to the discovery of valuable tokens.
The future is predicted to be about AI factories powered by Nvidia gear.
Crypto mining became a significant application for Nvidia's GPUs due to their ability to process parallel algorithms such as cryptography.
10:20
Bitcoin mining was made possible by using Nvidia GPUs as they were the fastest supercomputers available at the time.
Crypto mining led to the discovery of valuable tokens, similar to the concept of intelligence tokens.
Ethereum was a result of the crypto mining trend, where raw data is transformed into valuable tokens.
Nvidia GPUs were used to encode, compress, and refine data for crypto mining.
Training a model like JGPT requires a large cluster of GPUs, but the cost is not as expensive as people think.
14:25
It costs about $5-6 billion to design a chip and another $500 million to manufacture it.
Building a billion-dollar data center for training models is not a significant expense compared to the infrastructure computing cost of $250 billion per year.
JGPT 4, the largest model used today, required 16,000 GPUs to build.
The CEO encourages people to pursue their dreams and not be afraid of the costs.
Managing a company through a period of extreme growth requires hard work and the right people.
19:58
Building companies is hard work and requires dealing with the constant threat of being surpassed by competitors.
Nvidia was built out of unlikely odds and took a long time to be recognized.
Growing fast is about having the right people and systems in place.
The supply chain for Nvidia's complex graphics chips is difficult, but having an amazing management team makes a difference.
Jensen Huang explains the breakthrough in computer science that enabled generative AI and large language models.
00:00
The problem of processing trillions of bytes led to the development of large-scale computers distributed across millions of GPUs.
NVIDIA's architecture is now integrated into every computer company in the world, creating a large footprint and install base.
NVIDIA chose to be a platform computing company that serves every computing company in the world, rather than a data center company all by itself.
Jensen Huang discusses the reason why NVIDIA chose not to invest in fabricating their own chips.
05:25
NVIDIA's core value is to create an environment for amazing people to work, and they believe in choosing projects that align with this value.
NVIDIA chose not to fabricate their own chips because TSMC does it well, and they preferred to focus on something that nobody has done before.
Jensen Huang emphasizes the importance of choosing projects that are incredibly hard to do and that align with one's destiny and passion.
10:26
Choosing something incredibly hard to do requires time to learn and master.
Projects should align with one's destiny and expertise.
Passion for the project is crucial to endure the challenges and obstacles.
NVIDIA selected themselves out of commodity markets by focusing on amazingly hard projects.
Jensen Huang discusses the transformation of data into numerical representations and its implications for various fields.
15:27
Word2Vec learns the relationships between words and their numerical representations.
Data with structure and predictability can be transformed into vectors.
The ability to convert information into numbers allows for the translation of meaning between different types of data.
Jensen Huang talks about the future of design and protein engineering, highlighting the potential for innovation in the next 10 years.
20:28
The future of design will be different, and the ability to describe and synthesize proteins using language is a significant area of potential.
The next 10 years will see an unbelievable focus on protein engineering, creating enzymes for various purposes.
The video ends with a Q&A session, where the audience asks about the impact of Moore's Law on the GPU industry and the effect of geopolitical tensions on Nvidia.
Jensen Huang explains the impact of geopolitical tensions on the tech industry and expresses the hope for a balanced and thoughtful approach to international relations.
25:29
Geopolitical tensions will affect every industry and human, and it's important to balance national and economic security.
The challenge is to avoid unintended consequences and backlash by not being too unilateral in decision-making.
Every country is focused on its sovereign rights, which may limit technology use in some countries but also open opportunities in others.
The speaker hopes that geopolitical tensions will not result in tensions between countries and that foreign students will continue to contribute to the intellectual property of the world.
Jensen discusses the importance of learning and leaving school at some point.
00:00
Jensen mentions the value of learning as much as possible and that there are multiple paths to success.
He believes that staying in school is the best way to achieve success statistically.
Jensen talks about getting a virtual MBA through work experience because he initially thought he would be an engineer.
He emphasizes the importance of learning about business and strategy, but also mentions that being surrounded by amazing people can also be a great source of learning.
The role of a CEO and the important qualities and skills needed for the position are discussed.
06:20
Character and the choices one makes are important for a CEO.
Strategic thinking is crucial for a CEO as they need to be able to see ahead and mobilize the company.
The CEO is in a unique position to be the chief strategy officer.
Having a deep understanding and passion for the company's craft is also important for a CEO.
Jensen emphasizes the importance of education and continuous learning, and discusses his own journey in pursuing an MBA.
12:17
Jensen believes that education is a lifelong journey and emphasizes the value of learning.
He shares his experience of working towards an MBA after originally planning to be an engineer.
Jensen acknowledges the different paths to success but encourages staying in school, citing statistics and the importance of education.
The speaker highlights the need to learn about business, strategy, and finance, and emphasizes the role of surrounding oneself with knowledgeable people.
Character and strategic thinking are identified as crucial traits for a CEO, and having a deep understanding of the company's craft is also seen as important.
The speech focuses on the CEO's role as a leader and strategist, and the importance of having a deep understanding and passion for the company's craft.
18:12
The CEO is described as the ultimate leader and strategist who sets the direction for the company.
Strategic thinking is highlighted as a key trait for a CEO, along with the ability to anticipate and navigate challenges.
Having a thorough understanding and passion for the company's craft is emphasized as essential for a CEO.
The speech also touches on the CEO's role in driving innovation and ensuring the company's long-term success.
Jensen emphasizes the importance of strategy and having a vision for the future in the CEO's role.
24:08
The CEO is responsible for setting the direction and strategy of the company.
Strategic thinking is crucial for a CEO to anticipate and navigate the challenges the company faces.
Having a vision for the future and the ability to execute that vision is important for long-term success.
The CEO plays a key role in driving innovation and ensuring the company remains competitive.
The speech discusses the qualities and skills necessary for being a successful CEO, including strategic thinking, innovation, and execution.
30:04
Strategic thinking is highlighted as a critical skill for a CEO, being able to see around corners and connect dots.
The CEO's ability to mobilize and turn strategy into action is emphasized.
Innovation and execution are key aspects of the CEO's role in driving the company forward.
The speaker also emphasizes the importance of understanding the craft and having a passion for the industry in which the CEO operates.
The role of the CEO as a strategic thinker and the importance of having a deep understanding of the company's craft are highlighted.
36:01
The CEO is described as the ultimate strategic thinker within the company.
Having a comprehensive understanding of the business and industry is crucial for the CEO to make informed strategic decisions.
The speech emphasizes that the CEO doesn't have to be the best at everything, but should surround themselves with talented individuals.
The importance of having a passion for the company's craft and making a meaningful contribution to society is also discussed.
Strategic thinking and the CEO's role in mobilizing the company are emphasized, along with the importance of having a deep understanding of the industry.
42:00
The CEO is seen as the ultimate strategic thinker who needs to have a deep understanding of the business and industry.
Mobilizing the company to execute the strategy is a crucial aspect of the CEO's role.
The CEO doesn't need to be the best at everything, but should have a team of experts to complement their skills.
Having a passion for the company's craft and making a meaningful contribution to society is also important for the CEO.
Jensen expresses his gratitude and thanks before the end of the speech.
48:00
Jensen expresses his gratitude to the Digital Future Initiative and the David Sarnoff Speaker Series.
He thanks the audience for their presence and expresses his understanding of why Jensen was voted the best CEO.
The speech ends with a thank you from Jensen and an applause from the audience.