US chip-maker Nvidia’s chief technology officer, Michael Kagan, has expressed skepticism about the benefits of cryptocurrencies. In a recent interview, Kagan stated that digital currencies do not “bring anything useful for society” and that other uses of processing power, such as Nvidia’s artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT, are more worthwhile than mining crypto.
AI chatbot More Worthwhile Than Mining crypto, Says Kagan
Nvidia has never been particularly welcoming to the crypto community. The company even released software last year that artificially constrained the ability to use its graphics cards for mining the popular Ethereum digital currency to ensure supply went to its preferred customers, such as AI researchers and gamers.
Kagan justified this decision by stating that using processing power to mine digital currencies has limited value, whereas artificial intelligence has the potential to be truly transformative. According to Kagan, Nvidia’s parallel processing capabilities made it a popular choice for programming crypto-related tasks.
However, the use of Nvidia’s technology for crypto ultimately proved to be unproductive for society. On the other hand, he believes that AI has tangible benefits and is more useful to society.
Kagan also drew a comparison between crypto and high-frequency trading, stating that while the latter has generated a lot of business for Nvidia, he never believed that crypto was something that would do anything good for humanity.
You know, people do crazy things, but they buy your stuff, and you sell them stuff. But you don’t redirect the company to support whatever it is.
Nvidia’s products have become integral to the AI boom, as the computationally intensive work of training a new AI system happens to work significantly faster on the types of simple yet powerful processors that had been adopted by gamers.
The company has sold thousands of its AI-focused processors to companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Oracle and also rents access to the chips directly through its DGX cloud service.
During Nvidia’s annual conference last week, CEO Jensen Huang referred to his company as the driving force behind the “AI iPhone moment” and emphasized that the “generative AI” technology his company provides has the potential to transform almost every industry. While Nvidia’s products may not be popular among crypto enthusiasts, the company’s focus on AI seems to be paying off in a big way.
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