Nvidia CEO’s Journey to the First AI Supercomputer, Inspired by Elon Musk

Nvidia AI Supercomputer Planned After a Chat with 'Elon Musk'

Nvidia stands out as a prominent player in the tech industry, mainly because of its AI capabilities, like AI supercomputers. The US-based company’s processors play a pivotal role in training and operating large language models that are the cornerstone of generative AI applications like ChatGPT and Google Bard. Notably, Nvidia has witnessed a substantial surge in its stock value and market capitalization.

During a recent conversation with Andrew Ross Sorkin at the New York Times’s DealBook conference, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang shared the intriguing story of how a conversation with Elon Musk spurred the development of the world’s first AI supercomputer. While speaking at a conference, Huang recounted that Musk approached him and said, “I need one of those.” This interaction marked a key moment in the trajectory of Nvidia’s contributions to the field of artificial intelligence.

Huang and his team at Nvidia embarked on the project. After several years of dedicated effort, they successfully delivered the world’s first AI supercomputer for OpenAI, a non-profit research organization co-founded by Musk. At first, they built an AI supercomputer for in-house engineering testing. The development process started in 2012, and the supercomputer was delivered in 2018.

The supercomputer DGX has an impressive capability of executing two petaflops of calculations per second, making it among the most potent computers globally. Huang said the company markets DGX for $250,000, solidifying its status as a technological marvel with substantial computational power.

Nvidia AI Supercomputer’s History with “OpenAI”

Back then, Musk actively participated in OpenAI and played a pivotal role as one of its founders. Subsequently, Musk moved away from OpenAI, and Microsoft stands out as one of its principal collaborators. Musk has publicly articulated his motivations for departing from OpenAI. In a 2018 tweet, he explained that he left the company due to disagreements with its management approach. Additionally, Musk has expressed his conviction that artificial intelligence poses a “fundamental risk to the future of humanity” and emphasized the importance of approaching its development with caution.


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