Unlike AI applications such as Chatgpt, cryptocurrencies do not bring “anything useful,” a top executive of U.S. chip maker Nvidia is convinced. The comment comes despite his company making significant sales in the space where its powerful processors are widely used to mint digital coins.
Developing Chatbots More Worthwhile Than Crypto Mining, Nvidia Exec Claims
Cryptocurrencies do not “bring anything useful for society,” according to a high-ranking representative of Nvidia, the leading manufacturer of graphics processing units (GPUs). The executive expressed this opinion despite his company selling quantities of video cards to the industry.
Other uses of their processing power, such as those associated with artificial intelligence (AI) applications like the Chatgpt chatbot, are more worthwhile than mining crypto, Nvidia’s Chief Technology Officer Michael Kagan told the Guardian.
The U.S. tech firm, which is also a major supplier of AI hardware and software, hasn’t been too keen on the crypto market. Two years ago, it tried to restrict the ability to use its GPUs to mint ether (ETH), the second largest cryptocurrency, which was popular among miners at the time.
Kagan insisted that the decision, which was meant to ensure sufficient supply for Nvidia’s preferred customers — like gamers and AI researchers among others — was justified because of the limited value of using the potent processors to extract digital currencies.
“All this crypto stuff, it needed parallel processing, and [Nvidia] is the best, so people just programmed it to use for this purpose. They bought a lot of stuff, and then eventually it collapsed, because it doesn’t bring anything useful for society. AI does,” Kagan explained.
“With Chatgpt, everybody can now create his own machine, his own program: you just tell it what to do, and it will,” he elaborated. The chatbot’s first version was actually trained on a supercomputer made up of about 10,000 GPUs from Nvidia, the newspaper remarked.
Microsoft announced recently it had purchased tens of thousands of A100s, Nvidia’s AI-focused GPUs, for Openai, the developer of Chatgpt which the software giant funds. Nvidia also sold 20,000 units of its successor, the H100 chip, to Amazon for its cloud service, AWS, and another 16,000 to Oracle, the British daily detailed.
Nvidia rents access to the chips through its DGX cloud service as well, and is involved in other AI projects. During its annual conference last week, CEO Jensen Huang referred to the company as the engine behind “the iPhone moment of AI,” and predicted the Nvidia-powered “generative AI” would “reinvent nearly every industry.”
While they are competing for resources like those provided by Nvidia, cryptocurrencies and artificial intelligence are likely to cross paths more and more often in the future. Last week, U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase announced it had tested Chatgpt as a tool for pre-listing risk assessment of tokens and said the results deserved further investigation.
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Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.
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