NVIDIA’s GTC (GPU Technology Conference) has become the premier hardware event focused on the near-term future of Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Autonomous Vehicles, High Performance Computing (both PCs and Servers), Virtual Reality, and the wave of disruptive innovation we seem to be in the middle of. This year’s European event takes place from October 9th-11th in Munich, Germany, known throughout the continent as the place where . A very appropriate location for what is arguably one of the preeminent technologies and innovation showcase events in the world.
For those wanting to get a handle on the coming wave of technology — and to assure they can ride that wave as opposed to having it break over them — this is a must attend event. Let’s talk about some of the things that I’m excited about that are expected to be presented at this iconic event.
I’m a car guy and, surprisingly, I’m excited about the coming wave of autonomous cars. The idea of being able to flip a switch and kick back to read a book or watch a movie as my car deals with the aggravation of traffic is incredibly attractive to me. I particularly like the idea that for short hops of a few hundred miles, instead of getting up in the middle of the night to go to the airport I could get into my car, recline the seats, go to sleep, and wake up at my destination.
GTC in Munich will have a significant autonomous car showcase, including a track where you can experience this technology for yourself and develop the same kind of healthy lust for it that I’ve developed. A couple of the cars that will be showcased are:
The which anticipates a time when we’ll be able to watch cars run on the track at the limits of their technology without the existing concerns for driver safety because they have no driver to keep safe.
Other major OEMs will have their autonomous vehicles on display as well. Audi will showcase their Elaine concept car for level 4 autonomous driving. Volkswagen will provide you with a “visit to the future” with Sedric, their concept for a fully autonomous shuttle. And Continental will showcase their self-driving CUbE.
In addition to demonstrations of self-driving vehicles, NVIDIA will demonstrate how AV technology can be tested and validated in virtual reality. The DRIVE Constellation system enables simulation of worlds, vehicles and scenarios, so that the tech can be proven to be safe, before deploying on the road.
But it isn’t just about autonomous cars, typically this event also showcases a variety of robotic demonstrations and the advancements in this area have been nothing short of revolutionary.
Some robots on display focus on agriculture like, Bilberry, an AI crop spraying arm that’s an intelligent weeding system for large crop farmers that identifies only weeds that need treatment. This helps to reduce the use of herbicides to save farmers money while also helping the environment.
Roboception will be showing real-time perception and manipulation demonstrating a robotic arm for sorting apples. This can be applied in many different situations requiring an intelligent response to stereo vision inputs. MicroPSI, on the other hand, creates friendly robots that can learn from humans, illustrating how imitation and reinforcement learning helps train robots in industrial environments.
NVIDIA’s Carter delivery robot will also be at the show, which is the first reference design based on the Isaac SDK. Carter highlights how easy it is to add AI into next-generation robots for sensing, perception, reasoning and planning.
Vision Of The Future
However, the big focus of the event is to provide a vision of the future and from the keynote, where legendary CEO Jensen Huang is again expected to take the stage, to a variety of sessions focused on applied technology. This is where most attendees will likely focus. Key sessions are “The Big Trends in AI and How They are Affecting Companies”, “World Modes and AIs That Invent Their Own Goals”, and “How Biology is Harnessing Electronics to Bring DNA Information to Anyone, Anywhere”. Given this event is in Germany, which arguably leads the EU in car manufacturing, one highly attended session will undoubtedly be “Building Europe’s Answer to the US and Chinese Hegemony in AVs”. This session should help conceptualize how Germany and Europe can not only remain relevant in the next wave of automobiles but potentially again emerge as the market leader. Finally, there is a session on “Deep Learning for Automation, Logistics, Manufacturing, and Collaborative Robotics”, which I’m hoping isn’t a “how to” on robots collaborating to rule over the world. But it does sound like something critical for firms looking to revolutionize their manufacturing plants.
There are some elements of this event focused on practical training for the future as well. One is the This resource provides hands-on training focused on solving real-world problems using the very latest in production AI technology. Be aware that while the show has instructor-led workshops, there are also online courses and electives that you can get access to even if you can’t make it to the event.
Of course, as with any event like this, the real value is often less about what you see and hear, and more about who you meet. This is an emerging area of technology and that means many of the folks leading the charge to this AI future will be in attendance. They could be your future employees, managers, your next business partner, or provide you with critical help or experience as you anticipate your next steps. Conferences like GTC pave the way to the coming waves of change and go a long way towards making sure you ride those waves as opposed to being buried by them. Good luck and safe travels!