Shock and Awe in Utah: NVIDIA CEO Springs Special TITAN V GPUs on Elite AI Researchers

by Kristin Bryson

Some come to Utah to ascend mountain peaks, others to ski down them.

At the Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition conference in Salt Lake City Wednesday, NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang told top AI researchers he wanted to help them achieve a very different kind of peak performance — before unveiling a big surprise.

“The number of problems you guys are able to solve as a result of deep learning is truly amazing,” Huang said, addressing more than 500 guests at NVIDIA’s “best of Utah” themed CVPR bash at the Grand America Hotel. “We’ve dedicated our company to create a computing platform to advance your work. Our goal is to enable you to do amazing research.”

Then he sprung his first surprise on the crowd.

Supporting Today’s Pioneers of AI

The authors of the CVPR accepted paper “What Do Deep Networks Like to See” — submitted by Sebastian Palacio of DFKI and team — were among the 12 groups selected to receive an NVIDIA Pioneer Award.

Huang called up 12 teams of researchers and presented each with an NVIDIA Pioneer Award.

The awards went to those who’ve used NVIDIA’s AI platform to support great work featured in papers accepted by CVPR and other leading academic conferences.

Wednesday night’s award recipients were an elite group, representing some of the leading academic institutions that participate in the global NVIDIA AI Labs (NVAIL) program.

Honorees included researchers from the Chinese Academy of Science, DFKI, Peking University, Stanford University, Tsinghua University, University of Toronto, University of Tokyo and University of Washington.

University of Toronto researchers Makarand Tapaswi and Sanja Fidler were one of 12 research groups to receive an NVIDIA Pioneer Award from NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang at the NVIDIA CVPR party Wednesday night.

But the surprises didn’t stop there.

TITANs for the Titans of AI

Twenty guests selected at random joined Huang in the the hotel’s center courtyard. There he presented them with signed, limited edition NVIDIA TITAN V CEO Edition GPUs, featuring our groundbreaking NVIDIA Volta Tensor Core GPUs and loaded with 32 gigabytes of memory.

Fabio Ramos (center) of the University of Sydney was one of 20 lucky recipients of the NVIDIA TITAN V CEO Edition handed out Wednesday night at NVIDIA’s CVPR party. He’s joined by his colleagues Rafael Possas and Sheila Pinto Caceres.

Among the lucky ones was AI researcher Fabio Ramos, from the University of Sydney, who is doing groundbreaking work in the field of robotics.

“My work is focused on helping robots make decisions autonomously. I hope to use this to help advance my work to help robots take care of elderly people,” he said, as other guests noshed on chicken sandwiches prepared by Food Network star Viet Pham.

While the food and drinks — which included green jello, a nod to Utah tradition — had guests buzzing, researchers were even more eager to dig into their new GPUs.

“I’m eager to start using my GPU to support my work in deep driving,” said Firas Lethaus who is a senior engineer at the development division of automated driving and head of the machine learning competence center at AUDI AG. “With this new tool, I’ll be able to further examine image data so that self-driving learning systems can better separate relevant from non-relevant information.”

Titans of AI: NVIDIA Jensen Huang is joined by winners of the NVIDIA TITAN V CEO Edition giveaway at CVPR.

The limited edition GPU is built on top of NVIDIA’s breakthrough Volta platform. It features our revolutionary Tensor Core architecture to enable multi-precision computing. It can crank through deep learning matrix operations at 125 teraflops at FP16 precision. Or it can blast through FP64 and FP32 operations when there’s a need for greater range, precision or numerical stability.

With 20 of their peers equipped with some of our most powerful GPUs to accelerate their work, these won’t be the last to be so honored.

“There’s all kinds of research being done here. As someone who benefits from your work, as a person who is going to enjoy the incredible research you guys do — solving some of the world’s grand challenges — and to be able to witness artificial intelligence happen in my lifetime, I want to thank all of you guys for that,” Huang said. “You guys bring me so much joy.”