Disclosure:  Nvidia is a client of the author.

Nvidia’s GTC conference was once my favorite conference due to its focus on gaming; it has evolved to be my favorite conference for predicting the future. The Nvidia of today is so different from the company I first engaged with several decades ago that, were you to put them side by side, the older firm would look like a small subsidiary of today’s Nvidia.  

It’s gone from changing engineering and gaming to being the foundation for the coming metaverse. I wonder whether Nvidia should have changed its name to Meta rather than letting Facebook steal that tag. Nvidia is into advanced robotics, autonomous cars, planes, and chips (part of the recent IBM autonomous ship test), advanced AI, and even medical research (their Jetson module is used to analyze Genomics).  And that’s only a partial list.

At this week’s GTC, the company even unveiled Earth 2, a supercomputer-hosted, full-earth simulation built to fight climate change, but that could become the place we virtually work, play and live. In short, they’ll probably have a more significant impact.

One of the more interesting examples Nvidia proposed at GTC involved using the metaverse for collaboration using a fully rendered avatar, bringing us closer to where we want to be (and giving me a view into what the company will do in the future).

Getting away from ‘Uncanny Valley’?

One of the concepts animators talk about is the Uncanny Valley, where the animated version of a character is close to reality but just enough off to make folks uncomfortable. This is essentially why animated movies still look like cartoons; we can create higher levels of realism, but until we make it real enough, the result falls short. 

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