NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang chose to light up a meetup of deep learning experts on a glorious mid-summer evening at Stanford University to unveil NVIDIA TITAN X, NVIDIA latest top-end GPU, by presenting it to Ng.
The audience of more than 500 academics, researchers, and students — gathered in an open, airy hall at Stanford’s faculty club — quickly dropped their canapes and picked up their smartphones to snap pictures of the moment.
“When I get excited, crazy stuff happens,” Jen-Hsun, clad in one of his trademark leather jackets, told the audience. “We wanted to bring supercomputing power into the GeForce channel, so everyone in academia can benefit.”
Jen-Hsun then presented the first TITAN X to Ng, reading an inscription on the TITAN X describing Ng as “a pioneer, an amazing scientist, and a hero to us all.”
GPUs — along with the torrents of data unleashed by the Internet — have played a key role in the deep learning boom led by researchers like Ng that is shaking the world to its foundations.
Back in 2012, Ng helped jumpstart the artificial intelligence field by using GPUs to help build a deep network of artificial neurons — then running 10 million YouTube videos through the system to train one of the first deep learning systems. Since then, the speed of deep learning systems has increased fifty times.
The results of breakthroughs made by researchers such as Ng are set to upend entire industries. So it’s fitting that Ng, who now leads Baidu’s efforts to put deep learning to work for everything from voice recognition to image search, will be among the first to receive a TITAN X.
A Transformative Moment
“Just as electricity 100 years ago transformed industry after industry after industry, I think AI powered by deep learning will now do the same,” said Ng , who is also an associate professor at Stanford, speaking to the standing room only crowd. “It’s hard to think of an industry that will not be transformed by AI in the next decade. ”
It’s a field where access to cutting-edge infrastructure is critical. “If you’re a machine learning researcher having access to a machine that is 2x as fast means that you are 2x as productive as a researcher,” Ng said.
Rarefied company indeed, one in which the TITAN X fits right in. The TITAN X is the ultimate graphics card. Whatever you’re doing, this groundbreaking NVIDIA Pascal-powered GPU gives you the power to accomplish things you never thought possible.
“One of the things I admire about NVIDIA is it’s breaking new ground, and not just chasing profits,” Ng said.
NVIDIA packed the most raw horsepower we possibly could into this GPU. Driven by 3,584 NVIDIA CUDA cores running at 1.5GHz, TITAN X packs 11 TFLOPs of brute force. Plus it’s armed with 12 GB of GDDR5X memory—one of the fastest memory technologies in the world.
Audience members at the gathering gasped and hooted as Jen-Hsun detailed the TITAN X’s capabilities. The excitement only built as Jen-Hsun read out seat numbers to give away TITAN Xs to people in the crowd.
“This is the first product launch I’ve ever done where I’m standing next to guys in t-shirts,” Jen-Hsun said.
“This is insane, I’m actually speechless, I didn’t expect something like that,” one of the event’s organizers stammered after the TITAN X was unveiled. “This is one of the craziest product launches ever in the history of technology.”