NVIDIA GTC 2020: Where Technology Meets Imagination

Next week is NVIDIA’s fall GPU Technology Conference (GTC), and this year it should be a fascinating event because, unlike prior years, they are doing all Geographies at once.  That means there will be 11 tracks, 400+ live sessions, 600+ on-demand sessions, in 6 regions, using five different languages, covering 40 different topic areas going 24 hours a day, every day of the next week.  

Also, there will be virtual “Dinner with Strangers,” Brain Dates (small attendee driven 5-person virtual gatherings), and a live art gallery using one of my favorite tools, GauGan.  What is interesting about GauGan is that it uses A.I. to turn rough drawings into impressive works of art.  Even I can create art with this tool, and even though my mother was an artist, I can’t draw worth a crap.  

This year, there will be a new Datacenter segment focused on networking, likely related to NVIDIA’s recent Mellanox acquisition.  Other topic areas will include AI-Edge platforms, Simulation and Graphics, Automotive, a Healthcare track, and a Public Sector Summit.  I’m told there have been a significant number of women who have already registered for the event and which is essential as the industry fights for more diversity.  

Oh, and when I told NVIDIA that I was going to write up a preview, they gave me a discount code so that anyone reading this could get 20% off the event:  CMREGTC

Let’s talk about the sessions I’m looking forward to seeing.


Jen-Hsun Huang (Jensen) is a ton of fun to watch as he often speaks and gets excited about the technology he is sharing.   They often use that technology during the talk, and, particularly for those of us stuck at home. Those video breaks are a refreshing change from PowerPoint slides and talking heads.  He does an excellent job of providing a summary of the important announcements, exciting sessions, and other things to look for at the event.  I used to poke at Jensen for running long but based on the conciseness of his Spring GTC keynote; I have high hopes this time around.  If you only have time for one session, the keynote is not to be missed because it gives a gestalt view of the overall conference.  

Public Sector Summit

Typically, I’d give this a pass, but this is an election year, and a lot of us are suddenly extremely interested in what is going on in the Public Sector.  Two sessions stand out, one on A.I. and the other on 5G, both tremendous U.S. efforts and critical to assuring the USA’s place in the technology world.  

The first is Building an American A.I. Policy: Members of Congress are developing legislation and policy frameworks to support the U.S. administration’s national A.I. policy. The panel includes congressional representatives Will Hurd, Robin Kelly, and Jerry McNerney, and will be moderated by Alison Snyder, managing editor of Axios. Live on Tuesday, Oct. 6, at 11 a.m. PDT. 

The other is How AI Will Supercharge 5G: FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and NVIDIA’s global lead for telecommunications, Soma Velayutham, will discuss the role of A.I. and GPUs in 5G, and the FCC’s plans to ensure that the United States’ 5G infrastructure delivers on its promise to transform the telecommunications industry. Live on Wednesday, Oct. 7, at 8 a.m. PDT.

Edge A.I. Meets 5G

One of the exciting initiatives is to create a kind of hybrid A.I. with some of the intelligence at the edge and some in the Cloud.  Leaders from cloud-native software company Mavenir and NVIDIA will explain how their combined technology can create an end-to-end 5G platform that makes sense of the flood of data created by trillions of cameras for traffic engineering in smart cities, frictionless retail, optical inspection on factor floors, and more. This session will be available on-demand.

Advanced Equitable A.I.

A.I. is going to impact everything around us from now on massively.  Making sure this capability is available broadly will help assure that minorities and women aren’t left behind.  In this session, Leaders from policy think tanks and educational organizations will discuss how to ensure diverse voices drive innovation by giving underrepresented citizens more access to A.I. resources and education. Live on Tuesday, Oct. 6, at 2 p.m. PDT.

Fraud Prevention in Real-Time using Recurrent Neural Networks 

That is one mouthful of a title, but financial fraud has been an accelerating problem during this Pandemic.  A.I. technology is increasingly used to mitigate these crimes effectively.   This session will feature Executives from American Express detailing how they use deep learning techniques to improve fraud detection using GPU acceleration. Live on Tuesday, Oct. 6, at 8 a.m. PDT.

Federated Learning for Healthcare

With the Pandemic, everyone and their brother is suddenly interested in Healthcare because our lives depend on the Healthcare segment functioning effectively.  Federated learning, when applied to Healthcare, helps create a global A.I. model while keeping patients’ information private. Experts from NVIDIA, the University of Chicago School of Medicine, Mass General Brigham, and Hogan Lovells will discuss federated learning and its use on AI COVID-19 model development. Live on Tuesday, Oct. 6, at 1 p.m. PDT.

Omniverse Machinima 

I’m still working on pronouncing that second word consistently, but this is one of the coolest technologies NVIDIA has ever created.  It allows you to use video game elements and facial tracking to create rendered movies very quickly.  I think it will fundamentally change the makeup of short format films on YouTube and make storyboarding a thing of the past.   I think this session is the one I’m most excited about, and it is on Wednesday, Oct. 7, at 9 a.m.  PDT.   

Wrapping Up:

If you want to see how imagination meets technology, the conference to attend, virtually, this year is NVIDIA’s GTC.  This event is a must-see show because NVIDIA is a master of virtual technology, and you’ll likely see them make good use of that technology during the event.  Not only will you learn how NVIDIA’s most cutting-edge products and capabilities are changing government and Healthcare but how they are going to change the videos we seek and protect us against the rapidly growing threat of internet fraud.  

If there is one company that dominates the market in terms of technology that can turn imagination into reality, it is NVIDIA. We all know the resulting innovation is already changing the world.   I don’t know about you, but I’m done with 2020, and at GTC, you’ll get an early heads up on 2021, and, for a time, you may be able to forget about Killer Hornets and Zombie Storms.   And, right now, that would be a welcome break.  

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