Looking Ahead To NVIDIA’s Must Attend GPU Technology Conference     

Since the collapse of Intel’s IDF there really is only one vendor focused conference that covers broadly some of the big changes occurring in the technology industry. From Autonomous driving and ever more intelligent robots and drones to the move to general AI, the NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference (GTC) covers most of what will redefine our world this century.

I’ve been attending this conference for years and given the Silicon Valley version (it is also held in Taiwan, Japan, Europe, Washington D.C., Israel, and China) is just a few weeks away, going from March 17-21, I figured it would be good to talk about what you are likely to see there next month. Given this event tends to sell out early (the Silicon Valley venue is limited in size), you should register now.

Here are some of the things you’ll likely see at the event.

Medical Advancement

I’m a boomer and when you get to be my age you tend to get ever more focused on advances in medical technology because they could mean the difference between a healthy long life, a short life, or wishing you had a shorter life. At GTC this year in Silicon Valley they’ll have 5 of the 7 top radiology departments in the country presenting on healthcare advancements. Most will likely be focused on using Deep and Machine Learning to more rapidly make a diagnosis on the path to making a more accurate and effective recommendation for a related cure.

Autonomous Driving

NVIDIA is the current leader in Autonomous driving technology cutting across the top tier of automakers with design wins. This typically means if you want a sense of where the state of the autonomous driving industry is, GTC is the place to be. Last year there was a huge focus on simulation which redefined autonomous car training and massively accelerated the time to market for autonomous car release. This year I expect to hear and see some of the results as well as here the results of some of the real-world testing going on around us.


It is my view that robots will eventually eclipse Smartphones in revenue and volume as they move beyond robotic vacuum cleaners and lawn mowers to more capable general use platforms. They are already moving into delivery, security, and other aspects of business. GTC will have several sessions focused on this market which should eventually eclipse both Smartphone and PCs once it matures. If you are looking for a career with legs, this is likely one of the best areas to explore.

Women Developers

Like many technology companies NVIDIA is pivoting to focus on helping women advance in the technology market and part of that effort is to have sessions particularly for women developers. They’ll have an all-day program for women developers, a large women-led panel will specifically focus on the unique issues women face in this market and how to overcome them, and, most important a networking reception. With any minority in an industry it is actually the networking which allows a pooling of power and experiences, not to mention critical contacts for mentoring and opportunities, that can make a huge career difference.

Massive Technical Training and Contacts

There will be over 220 exhibitors and over 600 technical sessions this year. Specifically, regarding the emerging field of AI Deep Learning, which has largely eclipsed machine learning for AI efforts at scale, there will be over 50 critical sessions. Speaking experts will be there from companies like Adobe, Alibaba, Amazon, Anaconda, Audi, Autodesk, Baidu, Bloomberg, BMW, Capital One, CERN, Citi, Dow, Google, IBM, Johns Hopkins University, MILA, MIT, Morgan Stanley, NASA, NTT DOCOMO, Oak Ridge National Labs, Orange, Preferred Networks, Red Hat, Scripps, Stanford, Princeton, Tencent, Toyota Research, Tsinghua University, University of Tokyo, Uber, UC Berkeley, Verizon, Volvo, and Walmart.

This all provides a nearly unprecedented opportunity to learn, make new critical contacts, and create foundations for what could be your next big career move. The technology market changes a lot and these skills could make the difference between changing with it or being smashed by it.

AI Art Spectacle

One of the more interesting new areas this event will cover is machine art. This should not only be fun for those interested in the subject but for observers who are likely to see and hear things that were created by ever more capable AIs. They’ve had this stuff on stage in the past and some of the music and images are just amazing. It should provide a fascinating view into the world of future entertainment and artificial intelligence-based expression. Words don’t do this justice and I’m wondering if they will have 3D printed AI created projects this year? (I’m starting to think it is time to buy a 3D printer for myself).

Wrapping Up: The Keynote

GTC 2019 in Silicon Valley will again likely be one of the most memorable and critical shows for those looking at robotics, autonomous cars, drones, and advancing to General AI. Kicking it off will again be a keynote by NVIDIA’s charismatic CEO Jensen Huang who is a fascinating speaker and is extremely entertaining.

Overall there are few shows I think of as “must attend” during the year. This is one of them and, in the vacuum created by Intel’s cancelled IDF conference, it fills much of the cutting-edge gap rather well.