News In Context

A Pivotal Moment For Generative AI And Computing

photo by Markus Spiske, Unsplash

Nvidia unveiled new product offerings and partnerships with Microsoft, Google, and Oracle, among others, that are expected to speed enterprise adoption of generative AI, the industrial metaverse and quantum computing,

At Nvidia’s March 21 GTC conference, which targeted the computer graphic giant’s community of over four million developers, CEO Jensen Huang announced:

-Nvidia will introduce a set of Cloud services that enable businesses to build, refine and operate custom large language models (LLMs) and generative AI models that are trained with their own proprietary data and created for their unique domain-specific tasks. Through partnerships with Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, the company said Nvidia DGX Cloud will bring Nvidia DGX AI supercomputers “to every company, from a browser.” Nvidia also announced new chips and software designed to make products like chatbots much cheaper to operate on a day-to-day basis after they have been created with supercomputers.

-The company will collaborate with Microsoft to provide hundreds of millions of Microsoft enterprise users with access to powerful industrial metaverse resources via the Cloud.

-Nvidia will partner with Tel Aviv-based startup Quantum Machines to create a state-of-the-art architecture for quantum-classical computing, an effort to fill a capability gap while pure-bred quantum computing remains under construction. Quantum-classical bridges pair quantum algorithms or hardware with existing classical computing systems so hybrid work can start now.

Accelerating Generative AI

The announcements underscore Nvidia’s continued AI dominance, and come at a time when interest in generative AI is reaching a fever pitch.

Generative AI capabilities, said Huang, have “created a sense of urgency for companies to reimagine their products and business models. Industrial companies are racing to digitalize and reinvent into software-driven tech companies to be the disrupter and not the disrupted.”

In a press release Nvidia said Getty Images, Morningstar, Quantiphi and Shutterstock are among the companies that will be creating and using AI models, applications and services being built with the Nvidia AI Foundations services that span language, images, video, and 3D.

Enterprises can use the Nvidia NeMo language service and the Nvidia Picasso image, video and 3D service to build proprietary, domain-specific, generative AI applications for intelligent chat and customer support, professional content creation, digital simulation and more. Separately, Nvidia also announced new models for the Nvidia BioNeMo cloud service for biology to help researchers in the $2 trillion drug discovery industry.

Enabling The Emergence Of A New Computing Platform

Nvidia announced that Microsoft Azure will host another of its Cloud offerings: Nvidia Omniverse Cloud, a platform-as-a-service that gives corporate clients access to a full-stack to design, develop, deploy and manage industrial metaverse applications. Additionally, the companies are bringing together their productivity and 3D collaboration platforms by connecting Microsoft 365 applications — such as Teams, OneDrive and SharePoint — with Nvidia Omniverse, a platform for building and operating 3D industrial metaverse applications. Nvidia said the collaboration will accelerate enterprises’ ability to digitalize their operations, engage in the industrial metaverse and train advanced models for generative AI and other applications.

“The next wave of computing is being born, between next-generation immersive experiences and advanced foundational AI models, we see the emergence of a new computing platform,” Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO of Microsoft said in a statement. “Together with Nvidia, we’re focused on both building out services that bridge the digital and physical worlds to automate, simulate and predict every business process, and bringing the most powerful AI supercomputer to customers globally.”

Reducing Barriers To Scaling Quantum Computing

Nvidia said it is also joining forces with an Israeli startup to roll out a new hardware system to connect  quantum computing with classical computers.

The new system, Nvidia DGX Quantum, built together with Israel’s Quantum Machines, a developer of a standard universal language for quantum computers, is expected to be first deployed at Israel’s quantum computing research center at the end of this year.

Itamar Sivan, CEO and cofounder of Quantum Machines, said that the DGX Quantum system has the potential to significantly reduce the barriers to integrated highperformance computing and quantum computing infrastructure. He predicts this integration will enablequantum infrastructure to scale faster and meet the increasing demand for quantumcomputing.



Google Opens ChatGPT Competitor Bard For Testing

Google is introducing its ChatGPT competitor Bard to the public this week, starting with tests in the U.S. and the U.K. Google said in a blog post Tuesday that it will be expanding availability over time to more countries and languages.

Rolls Royce Closes AI Startup

The FT reported that Rolls-Royce is closing its artificial intelligence start-up R2 Factory after talks with two potential buyers fell through. The venture, which celebrated its first anniversary this week, is the first casualty under Tufan Erginbilgic, who took the helm in January with a brief to drive performance and cut costs at the FTSE 100 group. The company blamed the closure on the “tough economic environment and embryonic nature of the business”, which had made it difficult to secure investment.. R2 Factory is an offshoot of R2 Data Labs, Rolls-Royce’s innovation hub to help the company implement advanced data analytics and artificial intelligence across supply chains, fuel efficiency and other areas. It was meant to offer a similar service to large industrial customers.

OpenAI: ChatGPT Could Disrupt 19% of U.S. Jobs

PC Mag reports that a new study from the company estimates that AI-powered chat technologies could seriously affect 19% of the jobs in the U.S/.The AI-powered ChatGPT chatbot is powerful enough to write essays and marketing pitches, program computer code, and extract insights from financial reports, and OpenAI researchers that ChatGPT and future software tools built with the program could impact at least 50% of the tasks necessary for around 19% of the jobs in the U.S. Meanwhile, 80% of the U.S. workforce could see at least 10% of their work tasks affected in some way by ChatGPT, which was recently upgraded with a new GPT-4 model. The study adds: “Our analysis indicates that the impacts of LLMs (large-language models) like GPT-4, are likely to be pervasive.” In addition, researchers found that jobs with higher wages—which can involve the worker performing many software-based tasks—could face more exposure to potential disruption from AI.


JP Morgan Pilots Biometric Payments

JP Morgan is set to pilot biometric payments with retailers in the US, enabling shoppers to make purchases by scanning their palms or faces, reports Finextra. Global biometric payments are expected to reach $5.8 trillion and three billion users by 2026, according to Goode Intelligence. This week, fast food giant Panera Bread revealed that it is piloting palm reading technology from Amazon that lets customers pay and access the chain’s loyalty programme. Now, JP Morgan is looking to bring the technology to its huge merchant client base. The first pilots will be run with brick-and-mortar stores in the US, and could include the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix in May. A wider rollout could follow next year.

SWIFT Hails Results Of Blockchain Pilot

Interbank co-operative Swift has successfully completed its blockchain-based corporate actions pilot, describing it as a “compelling solution”. The pilot – carried out with six securities industry participants, including American Century Investments, Citi and Northern Trust – sought to explore ways to reduce costly frictions associated with communicating significant corporate events to investors.The testing concluded that the experimental technology could be beneficial for the industry, providing a clear and consistent view of corporate actions throughout the investor ecosystem, as well as quickly alerting when changes or updates occur.


Cocoon BioScience Closes VC Round To Turn Caterpillars Into Bioreactors For Cultivated Meat

Spain’s Coccon Biosciences closed a €15 million round to grow its high-value proteins business, which includes developing recombinant proteins for cultivated meat growth media. Instead of using microbial fermentation via big steel vats, the Spanish startup leverages caterpillar loopers as bioreactors. “You inject each cocoon with a little bit of Baculovirus and [the system] encodes for whatever vaccine products you want to make,” Cocoon Bioscience CEO Josh Robinson said in an interview with AFN. “It’s kind of like leveraging cocoons as natural, low-cost bioreactors. When [humans] catch a virus like a flu, we make a bunch of mucus. Similarly, these moths catch this virus Baculovirus and make whatever protein or enzymes are sequenced into that virus.”The Baculovirus Expression Vector Systems, or BEVS, is a powerful system that can increase the speed of expression of many protein families. Cocoon Bioscience says its method is also a lower-cost production route than traditional bioreactor-based production.“Cultivated meat companies need to manufacture whatever meat they’re producing in large-scale bioreactors,” says Robinson. “But the growth factorsm those high-value, hero ingredients, have to program the bovine cells to perform the way they need to. Those growth factors are traditionally produced in bioreactors, and it becomes really expensive if you’re doing that in the traditional way.“Pricing is hundreds of dollars for milligrams,” he adds. “Our system takes away the need for the bioreactor for that portion [of the cultivated meat process].”


BioTech Startup Uses Generative AI To Create Digital Twins Of Patients

Unlearn.AI, which has built a machine learning platform that creates “digital twin” profiles of patients in clinical trials, has raised $15 million to expand partnerships and accelerate regulatory approval, the company told Reuters on March 21. Mira Murati, Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft-backed OpenAI, is joining the startup’s board. San Francisco-based Unlearn focuses on a relatively novel application of generative AI. By collecting patient data from research studies, Unlearn’s platform computes a twin for each patient in a clinical trial and populates the control arm of the research with these twins. Unlearn won approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in September for using its AI-driven approach for conducting smaller and quicker clinical trials and struck several multi-million dollar deals with pharmaceutical companies, including Merck.

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About the author

Jennifer L. Schenker

Jennifer L. Schenker, an award-winning journalist, has been covering the global tech industry from Europe since 1985, working full-time, at various points in her career for the Wall Street Journal Europe, Time Magazine, International Herald Tribune, Red Herring and BusinessWeek. She is currently the editor-in-chief of The Innovator, an English-language global publication about the digital transformation of business. Jennifer was voted one of the 50 most inspiring women in technology in Europe in 2015 and 2016 and was named by Forbes Magazine in 2018 as one of the 30 women leaders disrupting tech in France. She has been a World Economic Forum Tech Pioneers judge for 20 years. She lives in Paris and has dual U.S. and French citizenship.